A daily dose of one aspirin may prevent cancer and potentially help treat it or reduce its likelihood of spreading, according to a recent series of studies in the United Kingdom published in the March 20 issue of the journal The Lancet, reported MSNBC.
Millions of Americans already take one aspirin a day to help lower their risk of heart attack and stroke, reported WebMD.
Researchers found people who took aspirin daily for three years were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer than those who did not take the pill regularly.
After five years of taking the drug, people reduced their risk of death by cancer by 40 percent--likely attributable to aspirin's ability to prevent the spread of cancer in some people. A study with an average follow-up of six-and-a-half years found that taking aspirin daily reduced the risk of being diagnosed with cancer that spread to other organs by 36 percent.
Colorectal cancer patients, whose disease remained localized, reduced their risk of the disease spreading the greatest, by 74 percent, reported WebMD.
These findings suggest aspirin is likely "to be an effective additional treatment after the diagnosis of cancer," Dr. Peter Rothwell, one of the study's researchers and a neurologist at the University of Oxford in England, told MyHealthNewsDaily.
Still, taking aspiring daily is not safe for everyone, because it is associated with a risk of suffering internal bleeding in the stomach and brain for some. People with bleeding disorders or a history of ulcers, asthma, or heart failure should not take aspirin, states the Mayo Clinic.