Benefits of taking aspirin 'must be balanced with risks

Recent research has shown that a daily dose of aspirin can reduce the number of deaths from cancer; however, one cancer charity has warned that this positive effect must be balanced against the risks.

Dr Mark Matfield, scientific co-ordinator at the Association for International Cancer Research, said that there are a number of side effects to taking aspirin, for example it can cause internal bleeding in some people.

"It has been known for a long time that taking aspirin regularly can reduce the risk of cancer, but that benefit always had to be unbalanced against the risk of harmful side-effects," he said.

"The important point about this latest research is that they used a very low dose of aspirin – which is much less likely to have harmful side-effects – and found that it still has the protective effect against cancer."

He added that this "tips the balance of risk" in favour of taking a low dose of aspirin as a preventative measure.

The study from the University of Oxford highlighted that a low daily doses of aspirin can reduce deaths from cancer by as much as 20 per cent.


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Benefits of taking aspirin 'must be balanced with risks
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