07/12/2010 11:21 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Aspirin: Probably The Best Drug In The World?

Expect a stampede at your local chemist's as the good old aspirin hits the headlines again. This time experts from Oxford University say taking a quarter of an aspirin a day could reduce your risk of developing various cancers by an average of more than 20, including lung cancer (30) and oesophageal or throat cancer (60 lower than in those who didn't take it.

Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, the researchers suggest it could help protect against breast and ovarian cancers too - but that their study didn't include enough cases to produce a definitive result. Some experts believe aspirin helps the body find and kill cells that can develop into cancer (so theoretically it could help protect against any type of cancer).

As for the side effects associated with taking aspirin - stomach bleeding, for instance, or allergic reaction - the experts say they are small in comparison to the benefits.

So should you take it? Not until you're over 40, the experts suggest.

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