According to doctors, taking a daily dose of aspirin reduces the risk of a future stroke or heart attack. New studies suggest that aspirin also reduces a person’s risk for cancer. Taking the powdery pill also helps prevent cancers from getting worse.
Rothwell and his colleagues examined the effect of aspirin on cancer prevention. They have found that the risk of dying from cancer is 15 percent lower for people who take aspirin on a daily basis. Taking aspirin for 3 years or longer reduces the risk of developing cancer by 25 percent.
Another study focused on whether aspirin could help prevent metastasis (the spread of cancer to other organs). The research team found that the risk of metastasis was 36 percent lower among aspirin-takers. The risk of having their cancer spread is 74 percent lower among colon cancer patients. The pill is also tied to an 18 percent lower risk for kidney and bladder cancers and 46 percent lower risk for prostate, long, and colon cancers.
This is the first study to provide proof that taking aspirin prevents metastasis, accounting for reduced cancer mortality.
One question to ask is whether aspirin is good for you. People who have had stroke or heart attack or have a high risk of either may consider taking aspirin regularly. Taking an occasional aspirin is considered safe for fever, body aches, or headaches, but daily use of aspirin isn’t right for everyone. Internal bleeding is one side effect.
Whether you need to take aspirin depends on your risk of stroke or heart disease. Risk factors include stress, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, diabetes, and others. Other risk factors include family history of heart attack or stroke and having 1 alcoholic drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.