A study has found that taking low –dose aspirin can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke and can also help fight against colon cancer.

The new research led by Oxford University Professor Peter M. Rothwell, published in The Lancet medical journal, Researchers reviewed the 20-year results of four trials involving more than 14,000 people enrolled in a study on use of ASA (acetylsalicylic acid) to prevent stroke and heart attack.

Each of the studies lasted an average of six years on patients who either took a placebo or one of several different strengths of aspirin, some taking 1,200mg doses.

The authors concluded that aspirin taken for several years at doses of at least 75 mg daily reduced long-term incidence and mortality due to colorectal cancer. Low-strength aspirin reduced the risk of contracting bowel cancer by nearly one quarter.

"Anyone with any risk factors such as a family history [of colon cancer] or a previous polyp should definitely take Aspirin," said Rothwell.

"Benefit was greatest for cancers of the proximal colon, which are not otherwise prevented effectively by screening with sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy."

ASA taken, even in low doses, can come with risks and patients should balance the risks and potential benefits.
If ASA is taken in high doses over time, causing irritation, lesions and even bleeding to the stomach, intestines and bowel.