Pre-diagnostic use of aspirin may be associated with lower mortality in men with prostate cancer

Men who take aspirin before being diagnosed with prostate cancer have a lower risk of death.

A new paper published in the Annals of Oncology, by researchers at Trinity College Dublin and the National Cancer Registry, reports that men who take aspirin before being diagnosed with prostate cancer have a lower risk of death. 

In a study funded by the Irish Cancer Society, the research team combined Registry data on men diagnosed with localised prostate cancer and community prescribing information from the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) to investigate relationships between aspirin use and mortality over an average of 5½ years following diagnosis.

They found that men who had a prescription for aspirin in the year before diagnosis had a 12% lower risk of death from prostate cancer than men who did not. This was similar to findings from previous studies in other countries.  On further investigation, they discovered that men who took aspirin daily or almost daily, and men who took higher doses of aspirin (>75mg), had an even greater reduced risk of death from prostate cancer compared to men who received no aspirin prescriptions; this effect has not previously been reported.

Aspirin is inexpensive, widely used and well tolerated by many people. This means that these results are important and require confirmation in other populations.  There is also a need to better understand the biological mechanisms by which pre-diagnosis aspirin use might influence survival in people with cancer.


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