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Will taking half an aspirin every day help prevent cancer?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Though we don't know how aspirin decreases cancer risk, we know that it does. Taking half of an aspirin a day can decrease the risk of getting colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer by 40 percent. It's been shown to slightly-very slightly-increase the risk of pancreatic cancer from 2 incidents of every 100,000 people to 4 incidents per 100,000.

Those benefits do not include its ability to prevent or reverse arterial aging. Just taking that half of a regular aspirin (or two baby aspirins) can make the RealAge of a 55-year-old 2.2 years younger. Take aspirin with a glass of warm water: It'll help dissolve the aspirin faster and decrease the risk of gastric side effects that occur when the aspirin lands directly on the stomach lining.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.