Taking a regular dose of aspirin can reduce the risk of dying of cancer by 37 percent, say Oxford scientists.
The study has also revealed that the pills not only reduce the possibility of contracting the illness, they even provide an effective safeguard against its spreading.
The oxford scientist has asserted that the evidence is so strong that in coming days the NHS watchdog NICE may issue guidelines advising doctors to prescribe aspirin to cancer sufferers. A report published in the Daily Mail says.
The study was part of one of the series of studies conducted on 200,000 patients. The researchers observed that aspirin reduces the risk of cancer deaths by 37 per cent if patients had taken aspirin regularly for five years.
In a separate study, researchers reached at the conclusion that regular dose of aspirin for three years cut the chance of men developing cancer by 23 per cent, and women by 25 per cent.
This study of oxford scientist also says that once patients had been diagnosed with cancer, their chance of it spreading was reduced by 55 per cent if they took daily doses of aspirin for at least six and a half years. This revelation establishes the role of aspirin control of cancer.
In recent years scientists have found out that aspirin is an effective safeguard against certain types of cancer, and it is highly effective in bowel and throat cancer.
This information was quite known for sometimes but it is the first time they have observed that it could also treat the illness by preventing tumours spreading to other organs - or 'metastasising' that becomes lethal.
Professor Peter Rothwell of the University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, has said that extra research in this field should be carried out immediately.
"If NICE were to prioritise it, it would certainly be influential. It's certainly time to add prevention of cancer into the analysis of the balance of risk and benefits of aspirin," Professor Rothwell has been quoted as saying.
"So far, all the guidelines have just been based on the prevention of strokes and heart attacks.
"This research really shows that the cancer benefit is as large, if not larger, than the benefit in terms of preventing heart attacks and strokes. It does change the equation quite drastically," he explained.
Aspirin plays a key role in reducing the effectiveness of key cells, called platelets, that is responsible for clotting of the blood.
Due to this property of Aspirin it is administered to patients who have had heart attacks and strokes to diminish the chance of blood clots and try to prevent clotting further.
As per Scientists the platelets are also involved in the formation of cancerous tumours. And these tumors help spread the disease to the other parts of the body.
Aspirin make these cells less effective and helps prevent and treat cancer. Event there are some compelling evidence, Professor Rothwell requested patients not to start taking aspirin regularly just to prevent cancer.
Aspirin may cut the risk of cancer but this medicine has harmful side effects also that including stomach ulcers and internal bleeding in the intestines. Among other risks involved are kidney disease and tinnitus.
But he added that the thousands of patients on dosage of aspirin for heart attacks and stroke would almost certainly be able to check the risk of cancer.
"This is an exciting development. It adds to the other established ways of reducing cancer risk - not smoking, keeping a healthy bodyweight and cutting down on alcohol" Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, has been quoted as saying.
"It's a good idea for people thinking of taking aspirin to discuss it with their GP, as it can sometimes have side effects such as internal bleeding especially in people over 70.
"The research also suggests that aspirin may help to prevent cancer from spreading in the body, so it could be beneficial for people already diagnosed with cancer.
"However, because of the risk of bleeding, patients should discuss this with their specialist before starting to take aspirin, and be aware of the potential for increased complications before surgery or other treatments such as chemotherapy," Johnson said.
--With inputs from ANI
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