It’s NO secret that aspirin is my favourite drug! - Australian Scientists Probe Aspirins Role in Cancer Treatment + www.cankler.com.au/wiki-aspirin - since it’s discovery by Arthur Eichengrün in the 1880s, this wonder of nature has been a cure-all. Aspirin has been in and out of vogue since the early 20th century, now thankfully, it’s back in.
Back in February we looked at new work by researchers from Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, who said that they had made an important discovery about how cancer spreads. A 2010 article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology had previously suggested that aspirin may reduce the risk of death from breast cancer.
Scientists have known for years that common drugs like aspirin can help cancer patients, but they weren’t sure why. Peter Mac researchers have now found a link between drugs like aspirin and the ability for cancer tumours to spread in the body.
More anecdotael evidence of this wonder drugs fight against cancer has surfaced via a survey undertaken by Eric Jacobs at the American Cancer Society. The study of more than 100,000 healthy people found that those who took a dose of aspirin every day were much less likely to develop and die from a broad range of cancers ::::
In a new – observational – study, the researchers, led by Eric Jacobs at the American Cancer Society, examined data on 100,139 predominantly white men and women over age 60 with no history of cancer, who participated in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. In 1992-93.
When participants were first enrolled back in 1993, they completed questionnaires detailing their aspirin use, they did so again in 1997, and every two years after until 2003. The researchers tracked cancer deaths in the participants through to 2008.
Researchers found that those taking a daily dose of aspirin for at least five years had an 16 per cent overall lower risk of death from cancer than people who didn’t take aspirin. The overall reduction in risk was driven by a 40% lower mortality risk from gastrointestinal tract cancers – cancers of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum – and a smaller but significant reduction in risk of death from other cancers.
It’s a powerful finding, but the size of the effect the researchers uncovered was considerably smaller than the 37% reduction in cancer death risk found in the previous analysis. Although earlier research had found similar results, the new paper adds to the evidence in favour of taking the drug as a protective measure.
The authors note, however, that because their study was observational, and not randomized, it could have underestimated the association between aspirin and cancer death risk if daily aspirin takers also had underlying cancer risk factors. The study may have also overestimated the effect if aspirin takers were more likely to have other qualities that independently lowered the risk of cancer death, such as seeking immediate medical attention at the first signs of cancer.
Given the enormus size of this study, the findings are significant. “Even a relatively modest benefit with respect to overall cancer mortality could still meaningfully influence the balances of risks and benefits of prophylactic aspirin use,” the authors wrote.
The Results: During follow-up through June 2003, 10931 men and 7196 women were diagnosed with cancer. Long-term (≥5 years) daily use of adult-strength aspirin, compared with no use, was associated with lower overall cancer incidence in men (multivariable-adjusted RR = 0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.76 to 0.93) and non–statistically significantly lower overall cancer incidence in women (multivariable-adjusted RR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.73 to 1.03). Overall cancer incidence per 100000 person-years (standardized to the age distributions of men and women in the study) with long-term daily aspirin use and no aspirin use was 1858 and 2163, respectively, among men and 1083 and 1169, respectively, among women. Long-term daily aspirin use was associated with lower incidence of colorectal cancer (RR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.52 to 0.90 among men and women combined) and prostate cancer (RR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.70 to 0.94) and a non–statistically significant lower risk of female breast cancer (RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.10). [From the Paper]
The report said that “…evidence indicates that aspirin use is associated with reduced risks of colon cancer and possibly several other cancers, including prostate and breast cancers.” The researchers also found that those on a daily dose of aspirin had a 12 per cent lower risk of dying from other cancers, adding up to an overall 16 per cent lower risk of death from cancer of any type.
Aspirin Wiki: cankler.com.au/wiki-aspirin/
Daily Mail, Throat Cancer: dailymail.co.uk/health/
BBC Health: bbc.co.uk/health
Telegraph, Daily Dose: telegraph.co.uk
Cankler, Aussie Researchers: cankler.com.au/probing-aspirin