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Aspirin Reduces Risk of Death Due to Prostate Cancer

by Amrita Surendranath on  January 6, 2016 at 6:49 PM Health In Focus   - G J E 4
Aspirin is used extensively as a blood thinner to lower risk of heart attack. Interestingly a new study suggests that aspirin has another positive side effect- that of lowering risk of dying due to prostate cancer. In other words, prostate cancer progression to lethal state is lowered.
 Aspirin Reduces Risk of Death Due to Prostate Cancer
Aspirin Reduces Risk of Death Due to Prostate Cancer
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There was a 40% reduction in risk of death due to prostate cancer among patients who took aspirin, according to urologic Oncology Fellow and principal researcher Dr Christopher Allard. The results of the study were presented on January 4th 2016 at the American Society Of Clinical Oncology in San Francisco.

‘Aspirin is used extensively as a blood thinner to lower risk of heart attack. New studies indicate that regular use of aspirin has additional benefit in prostate cancer patients, as it lowers the risk of developing lethal cancers in such patients. ’
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This observational study based its research findings by studying real life users of aspirin who also had prostate cancer. This study found that prostate cancer patients who use aspirin for cardiovascular benefits will now have added reasons to use it regularly.

About the study:

The study began in 1982 to study the effect of aspirin and beta carotene on cancer.
  • 22,000 men were included in the study
  • 3,400 developed prostate cancer
  • 400 developed lethal prostate cancer
Only a relatively small proportion of patients developed lethal prostate cancer. Lethal prostate cancer is death due to prostate cancer or spread of prostate cancer to other organs.

Further, it was found that
  • Men who were not diagnosed with prostate cancer but who took aspirin at least thrice a week had a 24% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer
  • Men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and who regularly took aspirin had a 39% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.
This study was an observational study and not a controlled trial. Therefore additional studies would have to be performed to corroborate the results of this study.

Dr Sumanta Pal, spokesperson for ASCO and an Oncologist found this study 'intriguing' but added a note of caution that patients should seek expert medical help before taking aspirin.

Other top research publication on aspirin and prostate cancer in 2015 that add substance to above conclusion includes -

1. " Preventing aggressive prostate cancer with proven cardiovascular disease preventive methods" published by Mark A. Moyad from the Department of Urology, University of Michigan. This study found that cardiovascular disease risk factors like obesity, glucose intolerance, unhealthy dietary habits were also risk factors for prostate cancer. Lowering the cardiovascular preventive risk factors and the use of statins, aspirin and metformin have been found to be effective in lowering prostate cancer risk.

2. " Impact of aspirin on clinical outcomes for African American men with prostate cancer undergoing radiation" by Osborn VW, Chen SC, Weiner J, Schwartz D and Schreiber D. This study found that the use of aspirin improved biochemical outcomes as well as metastasis of African men with prostate cancer.

3. "Decreased sensitivity to aspirin is associated with altered polyamine metabolism in human prostate cancer cells" by Li J, Cameron GA, Wallace HM. Aspirin was found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Aspirin induced spermine N acetyltransferase in human cancer cells and these cells grew more slowly when compared with cancer cells that were not induced.

References:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26429642

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26704566

3. http://www.cancer.org/research/acsresearchupdates/cancerprevention/aspirin-and-cancer-prevention-what-the-research-really-shows

4. http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/11/10/1108.full.html

Source: Medindia
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