On August was published in the Annals of Oncology an interesting work about the daily use of aspirin developed by the Centre for Cancer Prevention at Queen Mary’s University of London in the United Kingdom.

Daily aspirin is the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity. The benefits of aspirin use would be most visible in the reduction in deaths due to cancer.

Aspirin has long been known to have cancer prevention effects, but it has not been widely used for this because of concerns about potential harm. Experts have now declared, for the first time, that the benefits of taking aspirin to prevent some types of cancer outweigh the harms.

The study shows that if everyone aged between 50 and 65 started taking aspirin daily for at least 10 years, there would be a 9% reduction in the number of cancers, strokes, and heart attacks overall in men, and around 7% in women. The total number of deaths from any cause would also be lower, by about 4% over a 20-year period. The benefits of aspirin use would be most visible in the reduction in deaths due to cancer.

The review is the first to provide such strong support for evidence about the benefits of taking aspirin in cancer prevention.

It has long been known that aspirin can protect against certain types of cancer. But until this study, where has been analysed all the available evidence, it was unclear whether the assumption of aspirin outweighed the consensus. However, the authors stop short of recommending the daily use of aspirin.

The authors fall short of making an absolute recommendation about this, but the evidence is clearly strong that low-dose aspirin has been demonstrated to significantly reduce incidence and deaths from certain GI cancers, particularly colorectal cancer.

…follows next week.