People who take aspirin in their 40s may reduce their risk of cancer later in life, suggest Cancer Research UK experts who reviewed scientific studies.
Pre-cancerous lesions tend to start developing when people are in their mid-40s, said lead researcher Professor Jack Cuzick, BBC News reported. Aspirin blocks the effects of proteins that can trigger inflammation and which are found at high levels in several types of cancer. So, taking aspirin in your mid-40s may prevent that damage from progressing to full-blown cancer.
But the researchers, whose study was published in The Lancet Oncology, emphasized that much more research needs to be done before any recommendations about the regular use of aspirin for cancer prevention can be made.
"Future research and more clinical trials are needed to better identify those people who are at high risk of developing cancers and at low risk of side effects, who will benefit most from aspirin treatment," Cuzick said, BBC News reported.
Dr. Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, agreed. "It's too soon to recommend that people take aspirin to try and stop cancer developing because of the side effects. "It's important that any decision to take aspirin regularly is only made in consultation with a (doctor)."