Popping an aspirin just once a month could cut people's chances of developing cancer by almost a quarter, new research suggests.
According to scientists at Queen's University in Belfast, a weekly or even monthly dose of the over-the-counter painkiller could help people avoid developing tumours.
Their investigation indicated that a regular dose of aspirin could reduce people's risk of getting head and neck cancer by 22 per cent.
A regular dose of aspirin in middle age is already recognised as helping to reduce people's risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Academics at the Belfast university carried out an investigation into the impact of aspirin and ibuprofen on head and neck cancer risk, a report in the Daily Express said.
It was most effective in throat cancer prevention, their study showed.
The results of their research were published in the British Journal of Cancer.
They concluded that aspirin 'may have potential as a chemopreventive agent', noting that 'further investigation is warranted'.
Head and neck cancers affect more than 16,000 people in the UK annually.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said the research was 'encouraging'
'Regular aspirin use has been linked to preventing a number of cancers, and if it is a particularly successful practice for warding off mouth cancer, it should act as a springboard for more research,' he said.
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