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A large-scale study finds that the long-term use of aspirin cuts the chances of developing digestive (colorectal, stomach (gastric), liver, pancreas, esophagus,   small intestine, and other) cancers almost in half.

There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting cancer, including leading a healthy lifestyle and having appropriate screening examinations. In addition , an accumulating volume of data points to another prevention strategy: the use of aspirin. Indeed, the US Prevention Services Task Force recommends” initiating low-dose aspirin for the primary prevention of [colorectal cancer] among adults ages 50 to 50, for those willing to take low-dose aspirin daily for at least 10 years.”

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong examined in more detail the preventive effects of aspirin use on gastrointestinal cancers. They looked at data from a 10 year period with over 600,000 participants. Aspirin users had been prescribed the drug for an average duration of 7.7 years, with median dose of 80 milligrams. Here are the results: Aspirin users were nearly half as likely to have liver or esophagus cancer, 38 percent less likely to have stomach cancer, 34 percent (a third) less likely to have pancreas cancer, and 24 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer. Aspirin also dropped the chances of getting leukemia, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. It had no impact on breast, bladder, kidney cancer or multiple myeloma.

Here’s what you need to know: Long-term use of low-dose aspirin can reduce the risk of major types of gastrointestinal cancers, and may lower the risk of other cancers (leukemia, lung, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma). I’m Dr. Michael Hunter, and I suggest that you may want to check with your valued health professional to see if a baby aspirin is appropriate for you (or not). Thank you for joining me today.

Dr. Michael Hunter