Aspirin should become a regular aspect in the treatment of cancer and ought to be included in guidelines for patients, an academic has said.
The drug is proven to be effective in preventing the disease, at a factor greater than the benefit it provides to the heart and arteries, according to Professor Peter Rothwell who has recently carried out a major study on aspirin.
His research papers indicate that administering the painkiller in low doses every day can also slow the progress of cancer, as well as preventing it from appearing in the first place.
He said taking aspirin cuts cancer risk by about a quarter after three years of taking it and reduces the likelihood of death by cancer by 37% after five years.
Professor Rothwell argues that aspirin also cuts the chances of cancer spreading around the body by about 50%.
Based in Oxford University, he said: “It’s certainly time to add prevention of cancer into the analysis of the balance of risk and benefits of aspirin.”
According to the professor, NICE should include advice about the use of aspirin by people with cancer in its official guidelines.
His studies are featured in The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology journals.
- Effects of regular aspirin on long-term cancer incidence and metastasis: a systematic comparison of evidence from observational studies versus randomised trials