And, aspirin is not benign, Cook said, pointing out risks for bleeding and other gastrointestinal problems.
People should not start taking aspirin hoping to preventing cancer, Cook said. "Most of the studies show that the effect doesn't accrue until after 10 years," she noted.
Eric Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology for the American Cancer Society, said that "this study provides important new evidence that long-term daily aspirin, even at low doses, may lower risk of developing cancer."
However, any decision about treatment should be made on an individual basis in consultation with a doctor, he said.
"Because these results are new," Jacobs added, "it will take time for the broader scientific community to evaluate the data in the context of existing knowledge and to consider whether the clinical guidelines should be changed."
For more on cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
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