It has been suggested that aspirin prevents the growth of cancer in prostate cancer patients. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the authors say that the anti-tumour effect is strongest in high-risk cancers where good treatments are not otherwise available. Within the context that prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men and second biggest cause of death, reports of this nature are important.
It is thought that regular aspirin or other anticoagulants can slow cancer growth and prevent it spreading. The results showed that the rate of death over 10 years from prostate cancer was significantly lower in the anticoagulant group than it was in the non-anticoagulant group (3% versus 8% respectively). There was also an observed additionaal benefit insofar as there was a significant reduction in the cancer spreading to the bone.
The beneficial effect was seen in both patients treated with surgery and patients treated with radiation. Further studies, have indicated that the reduction in deaths to prostate cancer was mostly due to aspirin (as oposed to other anticoagulants). They conclude that, "anticoagulant therapy, and aspirin in particular, is linked with a reduced risk of death from prostate cancer in men treated either with surgery or radiation therapy." However, lead author Dr Choe goes on to say, "we need to better understand the optimal use of aspirin before routinely recommending it to all prostate cancer patients".