Progresses in medicine are made every day, and sometimes even from sources we’ve long thought depleted of new uses. A new study from the Harvard Medical School shows thrice weekly aspirin use tied to decreased prostate cancer mortality.
Study data and parameters
The study was conducted as a collaboration between the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and was led by urologic oncology fellow at Harvard Medical School, Christopher Allard.
The research focused on a sample of 22,071 men, and the observations lasted for 27 years, from 1982 to 2009. Out of the test subjects, 3,193 developed prostate cancer, and 403 developed lethal prostate cancer.
The focus of the study was to determine the link between regular aspirin use (3 times a week) and the development of prostate cancer.
Not only did the doctors look at the chances of dying from prostate cancer, but also at those of developing the illness following regular aspirin intake.
Test results and skepticism
According to the results, men who took aspirin regularly had a 24% decreased chance of developing lethal prostate cancer (the lethality was determined by whether the cancer was metastasizing or not), and a 39% lower chance of dying from it.
However, no links whatsoever were found between the development of the disease and regular aspirin intake.
As it turns out, the regular use of aspirin, about 3 times a week, does work pretty well in stopping or slowing down the cancer’s evolution, but it does not do anything to stop it from appearing in the first place.
However, as the study was observational, no actual causality links were found. This is not the most fortunate situation, but it isn’t that bad either.
The study’s author advises that people take one baby aspirin a day, as it may actually help prevent some forms of cancer, but even if it doesn’t, it’s still very good for your circulatory system.
Multiple observational studies on the issue came up with contradicting results, some praising aspirin for its cancer-forestalling abilities, and others claiming that it doesn’t do anything. And since all of them were observational studies, no actual causality links were found there either.
However, the team behind the current study does want to proceed with future studies in order to better assess the situation.
Image source: Wikimedia