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Published on 22 September 2009

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Aspirin “could manage bowel cancer”


An aspirin-a-day could help control a genetic form of cancer, researchers at Newcastle University have revealed.

The dose could help stave-off Lynch syndrome, a condition that accounts for around 5% of all bowel cancers and also puts sufferers at increased risk of stomach, small intestine, liver, brain, skin and prostate tumours.

Professor John Burn, from the Institute of Human Genetics at Newcastle University, said his research had discovered a means of managing the condition through administering aspirin.

The study was based on 1,071 people with Lynch syndrome across the world. Half the group was given a 600mg dose of aspirin each day and the other half was given a dummy drug. The results after four years showed that six people in the aspirin group had developed cancer – a figure contrasting starkly with the 16 who developed the disease in the placebo group.

The scientists said the side effects of the drug, which include internal bleeding and ulcers, were counter-balanced by a decreased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Copyright Press Association 2009

Institute of Human Genetics

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