At Freakonomics, we’re all about finding cheap, easy solutions to life’s big problems. And judging by the results of a new study published in The Lancet, a rather large one just came down the pike. Turns out that aspirin may be one of the most effective measures to combat colon cancer. The study found that taking two aspirin pills a day for two years reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 63 percent in a group of 861 people who have Lynch syndrome, and are therefore at a high risk for the disease.
Though there have been previous studies that suggest aspirin may effectively reduce the risk of cancer (like this one from 2010), according to the BBC, this most recent study was the first randomized control trial specifically for aspirin and cancer to prove it. So, while we’ve spent what probably amounts to tens of billions of dollars in pharmaceutical R&D trying to come up with an effective cancer drug, one of the best methods may have been already sitting in our medicine cabinet, at just a few bucks a bottle.