Questions remain over aspirin side effects

Aspirin
The study looked at 4,500 bowel cancer patients in the Netherlands Credit: Stephen Kelly/PA Wire

Experts say more research is needed into the side effects of aspirin before it is officially recommended for treating cancer.

A Dutch study published today in the British Journal of Cancer suggests the drug can help bowel cancer patients.

"This latest study adds to the growing evidence about the benefits of aspirin," said Sarah Lyness of Cancer Research UK.

"But we are not yet at the point where we would recommend people start taking aspirin to reduce their chances of developing cancer.

"There are still questions we need to answer about the side effects. Aspirin can increase the chances of complications before surgery.

"Anyone thinking of taking aspirin to cut their risk of cancer should talk to their GP first."

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Aspirin 'can cut cancer death'

New research shows that aspirin can reduce the chances of dying from bowel cancer by almost a third. Patients who took aspirin for at least nine months after diagnosis were 30% less likely to die from the disease.