London: Taking aspirin regularly halves the risk of developing hereditary cancers, new research has found.

These cancers develop as a result of a gene fault parent, including those of the bowel and the womb, the most common forms of hereditary cancers.

The study, involving scientists and clinicians from 43 centres in 16 countries, was funded by Cancer Research UK, followed nearly 1,000 patients, in some cases for over 10 years, Lancet reported.

"The results of this study, which has been ongoing for over a decade, proves that the regular intake of aspirin over a prolonged period halves the risk of developing hereditary cancers," said Patrick Morrison, professor at Queen's University in Belfast, who led a part of the study.

The research found that those who had been taking a regular dose of aspirin had 50 percent fewer incidences of hereditary cancer compared with those who were not taking aspirin, according to a statement from the university.

The research focused on people with Lynch syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder that causes cancer by affecting genes responsible for detecting and repairing damage in the DNA.

Around 50 percent of those with Lynch syndrome develop cancer, mainly in the bowel and womb.

The study looked at all cancers related to the syndrome, and found that almost 30 percent of the patients not taking aspirin had developed a cancer compared to around 15 percent of those taking the aspirin.

Over 1,000 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer in Northern Ireland last year, 400 of whom died.

(Agencies)