Aspirin reduces prostate canser risk

Men who regularly take aspirin have a 15 per cent lower risk of developing the disease than non-users, and those who take two or more pills a day have 20 per cent less risk, according to the study of 30,000 American men.

Aspirin may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, the most common cancer among Australian men, a study has found.

Although the reduction is relatively small - experts usually like to see risk cut in half to declare something substantially beneficial - it is large considering the burden of the disease, report

According to this finding was somewhat surprising, as aspirin, like other anti-inflammatory medications, blocks a key enzyme (cyclooxygenase, or COX) that has been found to play a key role in the development of many cancers. Indeed, there are several ongoing research trials looking at the use of COX inhibitors to prevent cancer. Moreover, previous studies of cultured pancreas cancer cells, and pancreas tumors in laboratory animals, further suggested that blockade of the COX enzyme reduces the ability of pancreas cancer cells to divide and grow. Now, a new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute revisits this issue.

This huge study found that even people who consumed aspirin at least 30 times per month, and for 20 or more years, experienced no increased risk of pancreas cancer when compared with those who did not report regular aspirin use. Although this study was based upon survey results reporting aspirin usage (and, hence, suffers from the potential limitations of all such studies), the extremely large number of participants in this study, the careful efforts of the study’s authors to control for other known pancreas cancer risk factors, and the close follow-up of these patients over an extended period of time, all add great power to the findings of this study.

The study involved 30,000 men aged 55 to 74 in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, a National Cancer Institute funded experiment under way at 10 US sites. About one-third of the men said they took aspirin daily, although information on whether they took adult- or baby-strength aspirin was not collected.

According to Lori Sakod a, a cancer institute scientist who led the research, after an average of four years of follow-up, 1,338 prostate cancers were diagnosed in the group. The cancer risk was 15 per cent lower among men who took one aspirin a day compared with those who took no aspirin, and 20 per cent lower among those who took two pills or more a day, inform

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Author`s name Editorial Team