Taking aspirin regularly could cut the risk of developing cancer of the middle or lower stomach by nearly 40 per cent, researchers reported.
New research based on 17 studies of a total of more than 300,000 people aged 50 to 71 found taking the drug weekly or daily reduces the likelihood of stomach cancer by 36 per cent, the British Medical Journal reported.
People who used other drugs in the same class, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, had a 32 per cent reduced risk of the cancer if they had taken them at least once in the past year.
Taking aspirin regularly is known to cut risk of bowel cancer, but can have side effects, including bleeding within the abdomen.
Such side effects mean that doctors usually advise against regular aspirin use as a protection against cancer.
A total 73 per cent of participants had used aspirin at least once in the year leading up to the study, Dr Christian Abnet of the National Cancer Institute in America, who led the research, told BBC: “We found that risk of non-cardia stomach cancer was lower in people who had taken aspirin and this risk lowered more regularly they took it.”
He suggested further research be carried out to investigate protective benefits of aspirin and other NSAIDs, and risk of side-effects.
The rate of non-cardia stomach cancer calculated in this study was seven per 100,000 person-years for aspirin users, compared with 11 per 100,000 person-years for non-users. while 56 per cent had used other NSAIDs. The News