Would you like to take aspirin for 10 years, given the side-effects..?

Pills rolling out from a bottleAn article today on the BBC health website urges people over the age of 50 to consider taking aspirin every day for 10 years in order to reduce the risk of contracting cancer.

Thankfully the article’s author has been honest enough to talk about the risks of taking aspirin over an extended period of time: bleeding in the intestines and the brain, both of which can lead to death.

What troubles me is they don’t give any clear reason why aspirin can reduce the risk of contracting cancer, other than this short sentence in the very last paragraph:

Scientists suggest it may reduce inflammation or act on blood cells that would otherwise encourage the spread of the disease.

Aspirin has long been known as an anti-inflammatory, but articles like this frustrate me because I see this as another throw of the dice by the drug industry to persuade us to use their products, despite the exceedingly unpleasant side-effects, which even they admit exist, and the existence of numerous natural anti-inflammatories that do not generate side-effects.

Can you imagine the boost to the drug companies’ profits if everyone in the UK aged 50 or above took aspirin every day for 10 years..!? According to this document produced by ageuk.org.uk, there are 22.7 million people who fall into that bracket.

If there’s another reason that aspirin prevents the development of cancer then please tell us, but don’t push us towards using anti-inflammatories that create nasty side-effects when there are natural anti-inflammatories that don’t.

Here’s the BBC article

Cheers,

Martin Malden

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