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  • an aspirin a day    August 6 
A small daily dose of aspirin can reduce the risks of certain cancers, science shows
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

A large review of scientific studies revealed that a small daily dose of aspirin can significantly reduce the risks of certain cancers, Reuters reports. Daily intake of 75 to 100 milligrams of aspirin significantly reduced the rates of developing or even dying from bowel, stomach, and esophageal cancer, according to analysis of all available evidence from studies and clinical trials.

Of course, there are caveats: Researchers found that individuals would need to take the daily dose for at least five years to reap the benefits — perhaps up to 10 years — and the study specified effectiveness for people between the ages of 50 and 65. Additionally, the risks of bleeding in the stomach due to prolonged aspirin intake are still a factor, researchers said.

Still, the findings indicated that bowel cancer cases could be cut by about 35 percent and deaths by about 40 percent, while rates of esophageal and stomach cancer could be cut by about 30 percent with deaths from these cancers being reduced by 35 to 50 percent. In general, for 50- to 65-year-old individuals, taking aspirin daily for 10 years could result in a "9 percent reduction in the number of cancers, strokes, and heart attacks overall in men, and around 7 percent in women," said Professor John Cuzick, head of the Center for Cancer Prevention at London's Queen Mary University, in a statement.

"Whilst there are some serious side effects that can't be ignored, taking aspirin daily looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement," Cuzick said.

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