Study: Aspirin could help prevent cancer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Study: Aspirin could help prevent cancer

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Wilson Kokolari, 78, is on a daily regime of medications to keep his high blood pressure and cholesterol in check.

"Eighty-one milligrams of baby aspirin in conjunction with Plavix to prevent any buildup of additional plaque," Kokolari said.

New research shows taking aspirin daily could also reduce cancer death rates. American Cancer Society researchers looked at more than 100,000 older adults taking aspirin for cardiovascular reasons. They found taking aspirin may also lower the risk of cancer death 16 percent.

"Cancers of the digestive tract have shown lower risk all along and there was about a 40 percent reduction in death rates from those cancers. There was about an 8 percent reduction in death rates from cancer outside the digestive tract," said Dr. Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society.

More than 50 million adults in the U.S. take aspirin regularly to prevent cardiovascular problems. Aspirin thins the blood and can stop clots from forming. But there are risks involved.

"Aspirin's not without its side effects and the main one is bleeding," said Dr. Tara Narula of Lenox Hill Hospital.

Doctors and researchers agree that more study is necessary before people start taking aspirin to prevent cancer.

Another analysis earlier this year found people taking aspirin for at least five years lowered their risk of death from cancer 37 percent.

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