Taking aspirin over a long period of time has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of some cancers, a new health study has found.

Research involving over 600,000 people found long-term aspirin use reduced the likelihood of a person developing a range of digestive cancers, as well as leukaemia and cancer of the lung and prostate.

Lead researcher, Professor Kelvin Tsoi from the University of Hong Kong, said: “The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers.”

For the study, researchers compared patients who were prescribed aspirin over a long period of time (the average length was 7.7 years) with non-aspirin users and assessed the incidences of a number of cancers.

Those prescribed with aspirin showed a 47% reduction in liver and oesophageal cancer incidence, a 38% reduction in gastric cancer incidence, a 34% reduction in pancreatic cancer incidence and a 24% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence.

Professor Tsoi, who presented the study at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, said: “What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer.”

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