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Medical News & Perspectives
October 15, 2014

Researchers Ponder Aspirin’s Potential in Preventing Cancer

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;312(15):1501-1502. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.12407

A review article published online August 5 might leave some readers wondering whether it’s time to start adding aspirin to the drinking water.

The article, written by a team of US and European scientists, concludes that the benefits of daily, long-term aspirin use outweigh the potential harms—namely gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke—for a large swath of the middle-aged population (Cuzick J et al. Ann Oncol. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdu225 [published online August 5, 2014]). While it’s no surprise that aspirin can protect against cardiovascular events, the drug’s added value is that it appears to reduce the risk of a variety of cancers, according to the report.