Aspirin Prevents Cancers?

Common painkiller could be a weapon in the fight against cancer.
2:48 | 03/20/12

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Transcript for Aspirin Prevents Cancers?
The big headline today about health and something we all have -- our medicine cabinets and encouraging possibility that aspirin. Could be a weapon in the fight against cancer. ABC's Lisa stark on the news that could affect everyone tonight. It's a daily ritual for millions of us nearly a third middle aged Americans regularly -- -- aspirin to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. But these new studies strongly suggests this simple skills may. Also protect against another killer. This is the largest body of evidence that suggests there may be in effect of aspirin and reducing cancers. We already knew aspirin cut the risk of colon cancer. Now many other cancers may be added to the list including stomach lung prostate uterine and ovarian. Those took an aspirin every day appeared less likely to get cancer to have their cancer spread and to die from cancer. The study suggest it takes years of daily aspirin use to get an anti cancer benefit. If you're on a low dose at least five years and -- higher doses three years of the pill every day. Doctors warn the research is not conclusive. Other studies with people who took aspirin every other day he showed no -- -- if an aspirin can have toxic side effects. Including internal bleeding. But today's research brings -- tantalizingly closer to determining at this age old wonder drug may be a modern miracle worker. Lisa stark ABC news Washington. And that -- to bring in doctor Karen Latimer who -- ABC news on health issues doctor Latimer lets me get this straight because this is astonishing news to a lot of people. If you're taking a low dose aspirin it can take about five years for the benefits to kick in according to studies. Pick a full aspirin it takes three years to kick him right. That's actually right that's -- the study showing us and it's also showing us that he would take an aspirin every other day there's no benefit. So you really have to take it every single day but doesn't have. -- on your stomach in stomach bleeding is one of the risks isn't certain people should certainly not be taking aspirin but the risks -- include bleeding as you mentioned. Not only the summit but intra cranial bleeding. And -- very small percentage of people who are taking aspirin will in fact experience these efforts risks and taking aspirin with food doesn't prevent -- consequence so number one thing is go and ask your doctor. And make sure you don't start this before you ask your doctor absolutely the study should not. Make people run out and buy aspirin and start taking without talking to that position there are many reasons not to take aspirin well this would really be amazing news -- something we all have been our medicine cabinets could have an effect. I'm cancer prevention thank you so much -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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