Daily aspirin against cancer

Linda Geddes

Aspirin dramatically reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer in people with a family history of the disease, providing the most direct evidence yet that the drug can be used for cancer prevention.

While previous studies have hinted that aspirin might prevent cancer, this is the first study where the primary goal was to look at whether the drug reduced the risk of cancer. "We set out to see if aspirin would prevent cancer, and it does," says John Burn of Newcastle University, UK, who led the study.

Although the study focused on hereditary colorectal cancer, it adds weight to the argument that anyone at high risk of colorectal cancer – and possibly other cancers – should consider taking the drug.

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