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Aspirin linked to pancreatic cancer

Researchers have linked aspirin to significantly reduced chances of developing pancreatic cancer.

It was discovered that taking the painkiller once a month can lead to the risk of pancreatic cancer falling by 26%.

Using aspirin more regularly was found to make people 35% less likely to have heart disease.

To compile the figures, researchers compared 904 pancreatic cancer patients aged 55 with 1,224 healthy individuals.

Patients were questioned about their use of aspirin, the painkiller acetaminophen and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

Results from the research showed no benefit from any of the other drugs apart from aspirin.

Lead researcher Dr Xiang-Lin Tan, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, US, said: "The results are not meant to suggest everyone should start taking aspirin once monthly to reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer. Individuals should discuss use of aspirin with their physicians because the drug carries some side effects."

Further research was needed before final conclusions could be drawn, he said.

The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Orlando, Florida.

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