Small daily aspirin dose 'cuts cancer risk'
By Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent, BBC News
A small daily dose of aspirin - 75mg - substantially reduces death rates from a range of common cancers, a study suggests.
Research at Oxford University and other centres found that it cut overall cancer deaths by at least a fifth.
The study, published in the Lancet, covered some 25,000 patients, mostly from the UK.
Experts say the findings show aspirin's benefits often outweighed its associated risk of causing bleeding.
Aspirin is already known to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke among those at increased risk. But the protective effects against cardiovascular disease are thought to be small for healthy adults, and aspirin increases the risks of stomach and gut bleeds.
However, this latest research shows that when weighing up the risks and benefits of taking aspirin, experts should also consider its protective effect against cancer.
Those patients who were given aspirin had a 25% lower risk of death from cancer during the trial period and a 10% reduction in death from any cause compared to patients who were not given the drug.