Aspirin's Cancer-Fighting Powers

Corbin Bernsen, 60, known as the irascible Henry Spencer on "Psych," is a smart guy when it comes to making sure he dodges the heart problems that run in his family: He's been taking low-dose aspirin for more than a decade and says, "You can't just take an aspirin and sit around and have 12 donuts and think, 'I'm not going to have a heart attack.'" So he runs marathons too!

Now there's more good news for folks who, like Corbin, take daily low-dose aspirin: It slashes your risk for cancer! A new study reports that for folks 50-65, taking 75-325 mg aspirin daily for five to 10 years significantly reduces the risk of cancer, without causing an unacceptable risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. (The longer aspirin is taken, the greater the benefits; higher doses don't give additional benefits.) Women saw a 7 percent drop and men a 9 percent drop in the number of cancers.

This means taking a daily low-dose aspirin - with a glass of warm water before and after - might be a smart move for everyone. The official recommendation (for heart health) has been that only folks who were trying to prevent a SECOND heart attack should take a daily dose. This study found that eight deaths from cancer and heart disease could be prevented for every death from gastrointestinal bleeding or stroke! (Since 1999, we've thought the data was good enough to include the recommendation for a daily low-dose aspirin in the YOU books.) So talk to your doc to see if you're a candidate.

© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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