London: A little aspirin might do wonders in preventing bowel cancer, and that too with fewer side effects, says a study.
A five-year retrospective study led by Malcolm Dunlop of the University of Edinburgh, UK, compared the aspirin habits of 2800 people with cancer and 3000 without.
The team found that the risk of getting cancer was 25 percent lower in those who had been taking 75 milligrams of the drug daily compared with those who had not.
If everyone in the UK was taking a low dose of aspirin in 2007, the latest year for which data on bowel cancer incidence data is available, it would have prevented 16 cases per 100,000.
This small reduction in risk is comparable to that from earlier studies in which the doses were much higher.
Andrew Chan of Harvard Medical School in Boston is not convinced.
"I still believe that lower doses are not as effective as higher ones,” New Scientist quoted Chan as saying.
His 20-year follow-ups on 80,000 women and 50,000 men showed that daily doses of 325 milligrams worked best for preventing bowel cancer.