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It’s all about the aspirin today. The good old, cheap-as-chips headache tablet. It could help protect against the development of a variety of cancers, say Oxford University experts, who are forecasting that their discovery could change the face of health advice (which, currently, doesn’t support the use of a daily prophylactic aspirin among those who aren’t already at risk of heart attack or stroke).

Funnily enough, I’ve noticed the gradual disappearance of aspirin from pharmacy and supermarket shelves. Especially the latter. Stroll into your local supermarket and chances are you’ll see a ton of paracetamol and ibuprofen for sale. But where is the aspirin? Hmm, good question. So perhaps this will bring aspirin back into fashion. There again, a cheap, widely used drug used to prevent the most feared of all diseases? I doubt the powers that be would let that happen. After all, it could cut into the profits of many a multinational, wouldn’t it? And we wouldn’t want that. Pity the poor shareholders.

So should riskfactorphobes take it? Try and stop them. I reckon the worried well will be queueing up outside aspirin-stocking outlets today. And who could blame them? The report, published in The Lancet, suggests taking low-dose aspirin over a 20-year period reduces your risk for lung cancer by 30 percent, bowel cancer by 40 percent and oesophageal or throat cancer by 60 percent. Of course it all depends on what your risk is to begin with, but it sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

All in all though, not bad for a little white pill. Is there anything the humble aspirin can’t do?