There could be yet another health benefit from taking aspirin. A new study shows taking low-dose aspirin every other day may lower a women's risk of colorectal cancer.
"Over a period of 18 years of follow up we found a reduction of 20 percent," said Dr. Nancy Cook of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital looked at nearly 40,000 healthy women taking either low-dose 100 mg of aspirin or a placebo. They found women saw an even larger benefit 10 years after starting the drug. Scientists did not see any difference when it came to aspirin and other types of cancer.
Millions of adults in the U.S. take low-dose aspirin regularly to prevent cardiovascular problems. Researchers say this new study could influence future recommendations.
"Women could perhaps consider it if they are at high risk for colorectal cancer, if they have a history of polyps or if there is a history of colorectal cancer in their family, they may want to consider taking it for that reason," Cook said.
Aspirin prevents inflammation that's believed to promote the growth of cancer cells. But doctors caution there are risks. Women in the study had higher rates of stomach bleeding and ulcers.
While this study did not find aspirin helped with other cancers, previous studies have shown that it might reduce the risk of breast, prostate and lung cancer.
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