Aspirin 'key to cancer treatment'
Published on 21 March 2012 12:00 PM
Aspirin needs to be included in the regular treatment of cancer and should be mentioned in official guidelines for patients, a university professor has said.
The drug has been shown to block the disease, providing more benefit than it does to the heart and arteries, Professor Peter Rothwell said.
He has had a major study on aspirin recently published. In it he argues that administering low daily doses of the painkiller also slows the progress of cancer and can even stop it appearing at all.
He said taking aspirin reduces the risk of cancer by about a quarter after three years of the daily dose and cuts the chances of dying from the disease by 37% after five years.
Professor Rothwell, who works out of Oxford University, said aspirin also reduces the likelihood of cancer spreading by around 50%.
'It's certainly time to add prevention of cancer into the analysis of the balance of risk and benefits of aspirin,' he argues.
'The NHS's National Institute for Clinical Excellence must now include aspirin advice in its official guidelines for cancer patients', he said.
The research appears in The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology journals.
Copyright Press Association 2012