British researchers have found a possible connection between low-dose aspirin and the incidence of colon cancer.

The group’s report, published in last Friday’s version of The Lancet, summarized the 20-year results of trials involving the use of ASA (acetylsalicylic acid), more commonly known to consumers as Aspirin. The studies involved more than 14,000 people, with the primary intention of studying the drug’s use in preventing strokes and heart attacks.

The study found, however, that the benefits of regular ASA also include protective effects against colon cancer, and that regular use even seemed to prevent tumours in certain areas (most notably in the higher reaches of the colon, where discovery through traditional colonoscopy is often difficult). As for dose, the study found no real advantage to taking more than 75 milligrams daily, or about the dose of a “baby Aspirin.”

The study’s findings are an exciting step for colorectal cancer prevention practices, but the CCAC urges you to speak with your doctor before commencing any kind of drug regimen. Though commonly available over-the-counter, even ASA has potentially serious side effects, including irritation of the stomach, intestines and colon.

Click here to read the Lancet article and learn more.