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Shocking Fact: Aspirin Prevents Cancer, Not Cardiovascular Events


Shocking Fact: Aspirin Prevents Cancer, Not Cardiovascular Events

(ePharmaNews) – People, and physicians, have always believed that daily aspirin can protect from cardiovascular events and strokes. New studies proved that the concept is incorrect, claiming that the preventive effect of aspiring diminishes over long-term exposure, but it can, surprisingly, prevent from cancer and even from cancer's spread!

A collection of three papers published in The Lancet add to the growing evidence base suggesting that daily aspirin can be used to help prevent and possibly treat cancer. All three papers are by Professor Peter M Rothwell, University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and colleagues.
 
They found that aspirin reduced the risk of a cancer death by 15% compared with controls. This improved to a 37% reduced risk of a cancer death for those on aspirin from 5 years and onwards. The reduction in cancer deaths on aspirin resulted in a 12% reduction in non-vascular deaths overall during the trials. In these trials of primary prevention, the reduction in non-vascular deaths accounted for almost all (91%) of the deaths prevented. Daily low-dose aspirin reduced cancer incidence by around a quarter from 3 years and onwards, with similar reductions in men (23%) and women (25%).
 
Although the reduced risk of major vascular events in these trials was initially offset by an increased risk of major bleeding, both these effects diminished over time, leaving only the reduced risk of cancer from 3 years.
 
The authors say: “In view of the very low rates of vascular events in recent and ongoing trials of aspirin in primary prevention, prevention of cancer could become the main justification for aspirin use in this setting.”
 
In a second paper, the researchers collected data from five previous major studies done on cancer patients in England to study the effect of aspirin on cancer growth and spread.

They found that, with a mean follow-up of 6.5 years, prescribing aspirin reduced risk of cancer with distant metastasis by 36%, risk of adencarcioma (common solid cancers including colon, lung, and prostate cancers) by 46%, and of other solid cancers (eg bladder, kidney) by 18%. These reductions were due mainly to a reduction by almost half in the proportion of adenocarcinomas that had metastatic disease.
 
“These findings provide the first proof in man that aspirin prevents distant cancer metastasis. Previous animal studies had shown that platelets play a part in metastasis of cancer via the bloodstream to distant tissues and that such metastasis might be prevented by aspirin,” say the authors. “That aspirin prevents metastasis at least partly accounts for the reduced cancer mortality recently reported in trials of aspirin versus control in prevention of vascular events and suggests that aspirin will also be effective in treatment of some cancers. The lack of dependence of this effect of aspirin on its systemic bioavailability suggests that it is platelet-mediated. Other antiplatelet drugs might therefore have a similar effect on risk of metastasis and combining different drugs might increase benefit.”
 
The authors conclude: “Observational studies show that regular use of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of several cancers and the risk of distant metastasis. Results of methodologically rigorous studies are consistent with those obtained from randomised controlled trials, but sensitivity is particularly dependent on appropriately detailed recording and analysis of aspirin use.”


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Prepared by: Basel AlJunaidy


Source :

ePharmaNews






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