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Aspirin cuts cancer risk by up to 60%, prostate cancer screening plans ditched and mobile phone risk for pregnant mums

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 7 December.

Hardly a week seems to have gone by this year without a new claim about aspirin, good or bad, but it is once more being hailed as a wonder-drug today after research in the Lancet found it fights off cancer as well as heart disease.

Researchers found that all-cause mortality was reduced by 10% for patients taking a 75mg dose of the drug, while for individual cancers the effect could be even more dramatic, with the 20-year risk for prostate cancer reduced by about 10%, for lung cancer by 30%, bowel cancer by 40% and oesophageal or throat cancer by 60%.

GPs can expect a flood of patients wanting to know more, with experts warning they should consult their doctor over the risk of possible side effects.

On just such a note, experts have warned against introducing a national screening programme for prostate cancer, because of concerns that the risks posed by the test are greater than its potential benefits.

The UK National Screening Committee recommended that the PSA blood test should not be introduced on a systematic basis as it is untrustworthy.

Meanwhile, in news that will be welcomed by those looking for a bit of peace and quiet on public transport, the papers also report that pregnant women and children could put their children and themselves at risk by using mobile phones too heavily.

Researchers in California found that the offspring of mums-to-be were more likely to develop behavioural difficulties, while the research also found that children who use mobile phones were 20% more likely to display abnormal behaviour - presumably including obsessively gawping at their mobile phone all day and spending every waking second on Facebook.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest