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Daily dose of aspirin reduces bowel cancer risk by over half

Published on 28/10/2011

Scientists have recommended a daily dose of aspirin for patients at high risk of bowel cancer, after a study revealed a high success rate in people with Lynch syndrome.

Sufferers of Lynch syndrome are more likely to develop certain types of cancer, including cancer of the bowel, because their bodies struggle to detect and repair damaged DNA.

A study was carried out on a group of 861 patients with Lynch syndrome. Those in the group given 600 milligrams of aspirin every day developed 19 tumours instead of 34 tumours in the other ‘control’ group.

The study, reported in The Lancet, revealed that taking two pills a day for two years reduced the risk of bowel cancer by 63%. Other cancers linked to Lynch syndrome also fell by half.

Study leader Professor Sir John Burn from Newcastle University said the evidence "seems overwhelmingly strong".

“People who've got a clear family history of, particularly, bowel cancer should seriously consider adding low dose aspirin to their routine and particularly those people who've got a genetic predisposition.”

Prof Sir John Burn also indicated that if every one of the 30,000 adults in the UK with Lynch syndrome were treated with aspirin, it would prevent 10,000 cancers over 30 years.

Scientists are now considering whether healthy people with no family risks should take the drug. Aspirin does have potentially deadly side effects, including ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeds and, in rare cases, a stroke.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  HealthMedical
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