Men who have been treated for prostate cancer, either with surgery or radiation, could benefit from taking aspirin regularly, suggests new American research.
Taking aspirin is associated with a lower risk of death from prostate cancer, especially in men with high risk disease, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The findings demonstrated that 10-year mortality from prostate cancer was significantly lower in the group taking anticoagulants, compared to the non-anticoagulant group – 3% versus 8%, respectively.
The risks of cancer recurrence and bone metastasis also were significantly lower. Further analysis suggested that this benefit was primarily derived from taking aspirin, as opposed to other types of anticoagulants.
"The results from this study suggest that aspirin prevents the growth of tumor cells in prostate cancer, especially in high-risk prostate cancer, for which we do not have a very good treatment currently," said Dr Kevin Choe, author of the paper, in a statement.
"But we need to better understand the optimal use of aspirin before routinely recommending it to all prostate cancer patients."
Preclinical studies have shown that aspirin and other anticoagulation medications may inhibit cancer growth and metastasis, but clinical data have been limited previously.
The study looked at almost 6,000 men in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE) database who had prostate cancer treated with surgery or radiotherapy.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and in 2010 around 10,700 men died from the disease, that's around 29 every day.
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