Patients at high risk of developing cancer could be prescribed regular doses of aspirin as a preventative measure, British experts say. There is widespread evidence that taking the pain-killer on a daily basis can cut the chances of developing the illness by up to a third, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
Next year, Britain will consider whether certain patients at risk of some cancers should be prescribed aspirin as a preventative measure.
The pain-killer has been shown to be particularly effective against bowel cancer - one of the most common forms of the disease - particularly if patients have a family history of the illness. But it also causes stomach bleeds and ulcers, which are not usually fatal but often require hospital treatment.
As such, doctors would need to weigh up whether the protective benefits of aspirin outweighed its side-effects. The plan emerged as the government's cancer director warned that survival rates still lag behind other western countries, despite drastic efforts.