London: Aspirin, already known to stave off a host of diseases, can also reduce the risk of throat cancer, a new study has claimed. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment found that aspirin can reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer, a daily reported.

Aspirin is already known to help avoid diseases, including arthritis, heart disease and strokes. Researchers found aspirin can reduce the risk of Barrett's esophagus (BE), a condition which affects the cells in the throat and which is the largest known risk factor for oesophageal cancer.

Previous studies have found that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly aspirin, have been associated with lower death rates for oesophageal cancer.

Researchers analysed characteristics of 434 patients for factors that might be used in screening and management, discovering those taking aspirin were 44 per cent less likely to have BE.

The study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology showed that men were three times more likely to develop the condition than women.

The researchers warned people should not start taking high doses of aspirin to prevent throat cancer, but said further research is being done to see if aspirin should be a considered treatment.

"The protective effect of aspirin use appears robust because the analyses suggests a dose-response relationship in which high-dose aspirin was significantly associated with decreased Barrett's esophagus risk," Dr Chin Hur from the institute said.

"It would not be advisable at this time for patients to start taking aspirin, particularly at higher doses, if preventing Barrett's esophagus is the only goal," Chin Hur was quoted by the paper as saying.

"However, if additional data confirms our findings and an individual at high risk for development of Barrett's esophagus and oesophageal cancer also could derive additional benefits, most notably cardiovascular, aspirin could be a consideration," Chin Hur added.


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