Prostate Cancer

Although often treated successfully, prostate cancer is the leading type of cancer among men, killing one every 19.1 minutes. But there is a light for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer – aspirin.

Lead researcher Dr. Christopher Allard, a urologic oncology fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that taking aspirins daily after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, decreases death risk by almost 40 percent.

The researchers theorize that the aspirin helps to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body by suppressing platelets in the blood.

“Platelets probably shield circulating cancer cells from immune recognition. By depleting those platelets, you’re allowing the immune system to recognize the cancer,” said Allard.

The study began in 1982 and its findings were presented by Allard during the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology last Monday in California.

The three-decade study period was conducted on 22,000 men from the Physician’s Health Study. The researchers found that men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer who took aspirin three times daily were 24 percent less likely to develop a lethal form of the disease, and reduced their risk of dying from it by 39 percent.

The study does not show a direct link between aspirin use and decreased mortality rate from prostate cancer. However, it does show some thought-provoking uses for aspirin in developing treatments for the disease.

“[I]t is important to keep in mind that the findings are from an observational study, where surveys and reviews of hospital records were used obtain information,” Dr. Sumanta Pal, ASCO spokesperson and oncology expert, said.

Allard said that it is still too early to begin prescribing aspirin as part of a formal treatment plan for the three million men in the U.S. who are living with prostate cancer. The study also did not show any significant effect of aspirin to decrease the likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer.

However, a previous study conducted in the UK on the effect of aspirin in the treatment of cancer showed that it may help protect against cancer of the stomach, breast, prostate and esophagus.

Source: Techtimes

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