Aspirin May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Men who take aspirin regularly may have a lower risk of dying from prostate cancer, a new study suggests.
Dr. Christopher Allard, a urologic oncology fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston reported that the regular intake of aspirin decreases the risk of prostate cancer death by almost 40%. That may suggest men could have one more reason to consider regular aspirin use.
The findings were presented Jan. 4 at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in San Francisco.
Since this was an observational study, one can not draw a direct cause-and-effect link between aspirin use and risk of death from prostate cancer, In the study, men without a diagnosis of prostate cancer who took more than three aspirin tablets a week had a 24 percent lower risk of getting a lethal prostate cancer. However, aspirin didn’t affect the overall likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer or even high-grade prostate cancer,
Among men with prostate cancer, regular aspirin use after diagnosis was associated with a 39 percent lower risk of dying from prostate cancer. Use of aspirin before diagnosis didn’t have a measurable benefit, the researchers said.
The study included information from more than 22,000 men in the Physicians’ Health Study. The study began in 1982 to test the benefits and risks of aspirin and beta carotene in the prevention of heart disease and cancer.
Nearly 3,200 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer over the almost three-decade study. Just over 400 men developed lethal prostate cancer. Lethal prostate cancer was defined as either death from prostate cancer or the spread of prostate cancer to other organs.
Allard said men thinking about taking aspirin regularly for any reason should consult their doctor to discuss individual risks and benefits.
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