Experimental, epidemiological, and clinical data from the last two decades have each supported the hypothesis that aspirin possesses anticancer properties, and that its use may also reduce the lifetime probability of developing or dying from a number of cancers. Aspirin's ability to act on multiple key metabolic and signaling pathways via inhibition of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme, as well as through COX-independent mechanisms, makes it particularly relevant in the fight against cancer. A growing body of evidence indicates that aspirin may not only reduce cancer risk, but also prevent metastasis and angiogenesis while slowing the rate of mutation-inducing DNA damage. These emerging benefits of aspirin are offset to some extent by the known risks of treatment, such as cardiovascular events and gastrointestinal bleeding. However, it has been shown that pre-treatment risk assessment of individual patients and the use of proton pump inhibitors or Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy concomitantly with aspirin treatment can reduce these potential risks. Thus, the significant benefits of aspirin treatment, coupled with recent data concerning its risks, may prove to tip the balance in favor of aspirin use in cancer prevention. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.