Monday, September 28, 2015 7:20 am
Aspirin, arguably the cheapest drug around, has been found to be a magic bullet to destroy all kinds of cancer.
A new study published today says that the drug, taken daily almost doubles the survival chances of many cancer sufferers. It works by reducing the number of blood clots in which tumours can hide.
The research by the Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands, will be presented at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna today.
Professor Nadir Arber, who is the congress’s spokesman, said: ‘Aspirin may serve as the magic bullet because it can target and prevent ischaemic heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, the three major health catastrophes in the third millennium.’
The study found that 75 per cent of patients taking a daily dose were still alive five years after being diagnosed with bowel, stomach, pancreatic and throat cancer.
Patients in the study were generally taking 80-100mg pills which were prescribed to prevent heart attacks. Forty-three per cent had cancer of the colon, 25 per cent of the rectum and 10 per cent of the oesophagus. The remainder had cancers of the stomach, pancreas and bile duct.
But the survival rate for those not on aspirin was just 42 per cent. Experts say the drug is a ‘magic bullet’ that should now be prescribed as soon as cancer is diagnosed.
The findings back up numerous studies showing aspirin helps keep prostate, breast and lung cancer sufferers alive.
Martine Frouws, who led the Dutch research involving 14,000 adults, said: ‘Given that aspirin is a cheap, unbranded drug with relatively few side-effects, this will have a great impact on healthcare systems as well as patients.’
She pointed out that it would be much less expensive than the personalised treatments now being advocated by medical researchers.
But Dr Áine McCarthy, of Cancer Research UK, warned of the dangers. She said: ‘Even though aspirin is widely available, it can have serious side effects like internal bleeding, so cancer patients shouldn’t take it without talking to their doctor first.’
*Originally reported by Mail Online