New study: Aspirin may reduce risk for cancer

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You probably use it for a fever or muscle aches but experts say aspirin may also prevent cancer.

While we're always looking for the next best medicine, a new study shows that one of the oldest drugs may be the best.

Nancy Cook, ScD at Brigham & Women's Hospital, said, "We found a reduction of colorectal cancer, about a 20 percent reduction."

Cook and her colleagues conducted a randomized trial of about 40,000 women.

They found that those patients who took a 100mg dose of aspirin every other day for 10 years had a reduced risk for the disease.

Cook said, "It's important to consider low dose aspirin because it has side effects and the side effects increase with the dose."

Side effects may include upset stomachs and possibly gastrointestinal bleeding, which is rare.

Other studies have found aspirin may also reduce the chances of developing cancers of the esophagus, breast and skin, including malignant melanoma.

Although the news on aspirin is promising, doctors say it should not replace regular colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer.