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An aspirin a day may cut cancer risk

TAKING aspirin daily may cut one's chances of developing the polyps that can lead to colorectal cancer, giving people at high risk for the disease a useful preventive tool, researchers said on Tuesday.

Colon and rectal cancer kills about 630,000 people a year worldwide, and researchers are eager to find ways for people to lower their risk - particularly those with a history of precancerous polyps, also called adenomas.

Bernard Cole of the University of Vermont and colleagues combined data from four studies involving 2,698 people from the United States, Canada, Britain, Denmark and France to see if daily aspirin prevented recurrence of these polyps.

The people who took aspirin were 28 percent less likely to develop advanced adenomas than those taking a placebo and 17 percent less likely to develop any adenoma.

"If we can find a way to prevent those precancerous lesions, then we have a really good chance of preventing colon cancer," said Cole, whose findings appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The people in the four studies all had a history of adenomas or colorectal cancer, and they were followed on average for about three years.


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