Psst. Interested in hearing about a secret easy thing that you can do to reduce your risk of cancer?
Most of the health advice for preventing cancer is pretty familiar territory: exercise, quit smoking, lose weight, eat more fiber, etc. These recommendations are well known and very worthwhile, but not exactly easy.
Well, brand spanking new research is showing that there’s something quick you can do—in fact, it takes about ten seconds a day—and doing this appears to cut your cancer risk by a substantial amount. And to boot? It’s dirt cheap.
Curious? What is this miracle drug?
Yes, turns out Aspirin is not just for headaches. There’s growing scientific evidence that a daily dose of Aspirin can help prevent, and may even help to treat, cancer.
Just last month, researchers at the University of Oxford published three new studies to add to the gathering evidence that a daily Aspirin can reduce your risk of some big-time cancers: colon, lung, prostate, breast, and more. And, it seems to reduce the risk by a lot—25% in some studies, and as high as 46% in other studies. What’s more, it appears to reduce the spread (metastasis) of cancer, and the risk of dying from the disease. Amazingly, these weren't the first studies to show the anti-cancer properties of Aspirin - a big study last year showed the same thing - but for some reason, many people haven't heard about this finding yet.
So what’s the deal? Why might Aspirin have an anti-cancer effect?
Aspirin is a potent anti-inflammatory. It has anti-estrogen properties, and it may also cause DNA-damaged cells to die. We’ve used Aspirin for a while now to help prevent heart attacks and strokes, and recommend it for people with a high risk of heart disease, but this new research means that many more people may benefit from this amazing little pill.
Risks? Aspirin can be irritating to the stomach lining, and can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It also needs to be said that you should not treat a kid’s fever with Aspirin, due to the risk of a rare condition called Reye’s Syndrome.
So, Aspirin is not for everyone. If you’re considering it, talk to your doctor first, but I gotta say, these results are pretty exciting. And empowering. Cancer is scary — the more tools in our preventive toolbox, the better.
So, along those lines: it’s April, which is National Cancer Awareness month in Canada! Interested in other things you can do to prevent cancer? Read this next.