Proof aspirin fights cancer - Front page Daily Express

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Scientists have shown that the “wonderdrug” painkiller taken by millions to ward off heart disease and stroke could now be a powerful new weapon in fighting cancer.

A study discovered that taking a low-dose tablet as little as once a week or even once a month could have a “significant” impact in preventing the disease and save thousands of lives a year.

The findings suggest that a low-dose pill could be taken to help ward off ­cancer in the same way that aspirin is currently prescribed to protect against heart disease.

Experts at Queen’s University ­Belfast used data from the National Cancer Institute Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer trial for a large scale investigation of the effect of aspirin and ibuprofen on head and neck cancer risk.

They concluded that people were 22 per cent more likely to avoid developing head and neck cancers if they took aspirin on a weekly and monthly basis.

It was most effective in throat cancer prevention.

For those aged 55-74, there was a “significant” reduction of head and neck cancer risk between weekly and monthly aspirin use.

Taking aspirin and ibuprofen daily was not significantly associated with a reduced risk.

The study, which was published in the British Journal of Cancer, concluded: “Regular aspirin use was associated with a significant 22 per cent reduction in head and neck cancer risk.

“No association was observed with regular ibuprofen use.

“Aspirin may have potential as a chemopreventive agent but further investigation is warranted.”

More than 16,000 people in the UK are affected by head and neck cancers every year.

Mouth cancer claims more lives than testicular and cervical cancer combined.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “Mouth cancer cases are increasing, so this piece of research is encouraging.

“Regular aspirin use has been linked to preventing a number of cancers, and if it is a particularly successful practice for warding off mouth cancer, it should act as a springboard for more research.”

But he warned: “People should not be fooled into thinking that taking aspirin counteracts the dangers of mouth cancer.

“If you smoke, drink alcohol to excess, have a poor diet and are at risk from picking up the human papilloma­virus (HPV), aspirin use will be irrelevant.”

Aspirin, cancer, prevention, health, research


Aspirin blocks the effects of proteins involved in inflammmation

















Aspirin may have potential as a chemopreventive agent but further investigation is warranted
















British Journal of Cancer study
















The latest evidence further boosts calls for all middle-aged people to be prescribed aspirin to stop them from getting cancer later in life.


Previous research has shown that people who take it are less likely to develop bowel, breast and other types of cancer.


Aspirin blocks the effects of proteins involved in inflammation found at unusually high levels in several cancers.


Millions take aspirin to stave off heart attacks and strokes and it can be prescribed for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.


Hazel Nunn, head of health information and evidence at Cancer Research UK, said: “We would advise people to speak to their GP if they are considering taking aspirin for cancer prevention.”

Period30 Mar 2013

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  • TitleProof aspirin fights cancer - Front page Daily Express
    PersonsLesley Anderson, Liam Murray, Jessica Wilson, Carmel Hughes, Amanda Black