Studies have linked the regular use of aspirin, an over-the-counter painkiller, to lower risks of heart attack and stroke. The risk-reducing benefits may also extend to death from certain types of cancer. What isn't yet known is how much aspirin is needed to protect against an early death from cancer, and how long people have to take it.
To clear up the link, researchers led by Yin Cao at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have been combing through data from two large studies: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. They analyzed the aspirin use and cancer outcomes of more than 130,000 adults over 32 years. The researchers reported their latest findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.