Daily aspirin reduces cancer risk

Research on aspirin’s potential impact on cancer prevention received significant coverage online and on network news broadcasts, where it received more than six minutes of coverage. However, the story was not widely covered by print media.

ABC World News reported, “Now the big headline today about health and something we all have in our medicine cabinets, an encouraging possibility that aspirin could be a weapon in the fight against cancer.”

In the lead story on NBC Nightly News reports that “new evidence” suggest that aspirin may “prevent and treat several different kinds of cancers.”

During a second ABC World News segment on the study, “Dr. Karen Latimer who consults with ABC News on health issues,” said, however that the research indicates that for “people who take aspirin every other day, there’s no benefit.”

The CBS Evening News pointed out that “aspirin is” already “sometimes used to prevent heart attacks.”

On its website, ABC News reports, “In three studies published in the Lancet and the Lancet Oncology, British researchers analyzed data from more than 50 studies and found that those who took daily aspirin for at least three years were less likely to develop cancer – and if they did, it tended to be less advanced.”

Bloomberg News  reports that individuals “who took a daily dose of aspirin had a 24 percent lower rate of developing cancer after three years and were 37 percent less likely to die from the disease after five years than those who didn’t, according to a study in the Lancet medical journal.”

This “rate was similar for men and women.”

Two additional “studies published in the Lancet and The Lancet Oncology … showed that aspirin reduced the risk of any cancer spreading to other organs by 36 percent and certain types of tumors by 46 percent.”

The New York Times reports, “The findings add to a body of evidence suggesting that cheap and widely available aspirin may be a powerful if overlooked weapon in the battle against cancer.”

However, “the research also poses difficult questions for doctors and public health officials, as regular doses of aspirin can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and other side effects.”

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