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The findings of a new revolutionary study of British scientists were recently published and attracted huge worldwide attention. According to the results of a research carried out by a group of scientists of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, taking a small dose of aspirin on a daily basis can result in substantially lower risks of many common cancers and cardiovascular diseases. This amazing property of an old “wonder drug” created more than century ago evoked a wave of public concern and controversy.

The study involving 26,000 participants included extensive analysis and supervision of the patients with various health conditions. In particular, the specialists studied the effects of aspirin consumption on people with serious heart problems. The scientists checked out medical histories of the patients with cardiovascular problems, who were taking low doses of aspirin on the request of their doctors. As a result, the experts came to a  conclusion that death rates seriously dropped down due to regular aspirin consumption.

The same can be said about common types of cancer, including pancreatic, brain, lung and others. According to Professor Peter Rothwell of the Department of Clinical Neurology at Oxford University one of the leaders of the study, five years of taking small doses of aspirin can lower the rates of most common cancers for up to 34 % and the rates of gastrointestinal cancer can drop down for almost 54 %. At that, patient needs to take only a 75 mg dose of aspirin on a daily basis, which is actually one third of a standard aspirin tablet (300 mg).

Aspirin 2This everything would sound really great if there were no common side effects linked to regular aspirin consumption. Despite of the newly discovered benefits, the fact still remains that using aspirin tablets in some conditions can cause very serious health problems like stomach pains, stomach bleeding, gastrointestinal ulcers, increased risks of hemorrhagic stroke, as well as some relatively easy but still dangerous negative effects like nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, allergic reactions and so on. Many previous studies have shown that aspirin can cause as many problems as it can prevent.

However, the specialists of the John Radcliffe Hospital are sure that the risks of taking aspirin highly outrage the benefits of using this medication in small doses on a daily basis. Professor Rothwell who himself has been taking aspirin for two years already, says: “Previous guidelines have rightly cautioned that in healthy middle-aged people the small risk of bleeding on aspirin partly offsets the benefits from prevention of strokes and heart attacks, but the reductions in deaths due to several common cancers will now alter this balance for many people.”

The scientists also warn people that this discovery in no sense means that now everyone should take a 75-mg daily dose of aspirin to lower the risks of cancer and stroke. They say that the finding demonstrate new promising benefits of aspirin, which were not known before and require additional studies. However, many specialists are very hopeful about this new discovery, including the scientists at Cancer Research UK.  “Perhaps the most important finding for the longer term is the proof of principle that cancers can be prevented by simple compounds like aspirin,” says Professor Rothwel.

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