A recent study found that the common pain killer can help significantly reduce the risk of cancer for older adults.

Photo Credit: © Dmitry Lobanov - Fotolia.com

Photo Credit: © Dmitry Lobanov - Fotolia.com

The trick to preventing cancer may have been in your medicine cabinet all along. A new paper published in Annals of Oncology shows that taking one aspirin a day can help reduce the risk of cancer in older adults. Researchers involved in the study believe that if every person in Britain between the ages of 50 and 64 took an aspirin a day, it would prevent up to 122,000 cancer-related deaths. 

The researchers, from Queen Mary University in London, did a review of about 200 studies that examined the benefits and harm of taking aspirin to better understand its impact on overall health. They found that taking a daily 75mg dose of aspirin could help reduce the risk of dying from bowel, stomach and esophageal cancer by 30 to 40 percent. It can also help to fight breast, prostate and lung cancer at lower success levels. Additionally, aspirin was able to suppress strokes and heart attack.

"Whilst there are some serious side-effects that can't be ignored, taking aspirin daily looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement," said head researcher Jack Cuzick.

He added that the 18,000 additional deaths could potentially be offset by advising a cut-off period of 10 years. He also says that people should look out for the presence of certain bacteria that could cause peptic ulcers and take it as a sign not to take aspirin on a daily basis. Furthermore, those over the age of 70 have a higher risk of developing gastrointestinal bleeding, so they are not advised to take a daily dose of aspirin.

The researchers also noted that the daily dose of aspirin for cancer prevention only works in those over the age of 50, and people should consult their doctors before partaking.