United Kingdom's National Health Service has funded a new study for Cancer Research UK which will examine whether or not taking aspirin daily for five years can stop the return of cancer and how it can affect patients.
The study will be conducted in about 100 health centers in the UK, and will include 11,000 respondents who have had a history of and are currently being treated for cancer of the breast, esophagus, prostate, stomach or bowel. It will last at least 12 years to monitor these patients, the NHS said.
The participants will be divided into two groups, researchers say. The first group will take several doses of aspirin in either 300mg or 100mg, while the second group will receive placebo or dummy tablets.
Previous research by the Cancer Research UK revealed that people who are 50 years old can have the benefits of being protected against cancer of the stomach, bowel and esophagus. Taking aspirin daily may also possibly prevent 17 deaths due to cancer but could lead to lethal death from stroke, the research said.
However, Prof. Ruth Langley, lead researcher from the Medical Research Council at University College London, said that there has been no randomized trial to give evidence to previous research. She said that the new clinical trial is their effort to find the answer for this inquiry.
Langley said that if the results of the study show that aspirin is effective in stopping the return of cancer, future treatment could be made more simple and cheap, and will possibly increase the chances of recovery from the illness.
She also warns that people should still consult a general practitioner regarding the daily intake of aspirin because a clinical trial still does not assure any positive recommendation. She said that most people cannot take aspirin because of several medical conditions, and that the drug has some harmful side effects.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fiona Reddington, the head of population research at Cancer Research UK, believes that the possible effect of aspirin on cancer is fascinating, and she hopes that in the end, the clinical trial would give them a definitive answer.
"This trial is especially exciting as cancers that recur are often harder to treat so finding a cheap and effective way to prevent this is potentially game-changing for patients," she added.
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