Taking a low-dose aspirin every day will reduce your chances of dying from cancer, scientists say today, confirming the over-the-counter pill as the most extraordinary drug yet discovered.
Daily aspirin has already been shown to cut the chances of heart attacks and stroke in people who are at risk. The study published today in the Lancet medical journal reveals that it also has a powerful preventive action against a range of cancers – and possibly more of them than there is currently enough evidence to prove.
While the doctors who carried out the study say it is not for them to make recommendations, the lead author, 46-year-old Prof Peter Rothwell from Oxford University, says he has been taking aspirin for the last two years. The beneficial dose is 75mg – a quarter of a standard tablet, which is 300mg. Some pharmacies sell low-dose tablets, but at a higher price.