In a new review study from Cardiff University, researchers found patients with a wide range of cancers who take aspirin as part of their treatment could help to reduce their risk of death by 20%.
They carried out a systematic review of 118 published studies in patients with 18 different cancers.
They found that in a total of about 250,000 patients with cancer who reported taking aspirin, this was linked to a reduction of about 20% in cancer deaths.
The review said the available body of evidence on its efficacy and safety “justifies its use” as a supplementary treatment in a wide range of cancers—and patients should be informed of this.
The team leader has studied the effects of aspirin for more than 50 years.
In recent years, the team has been struck by the actions of aspirin on the biological mechanisms relevant to cancer—and these seem to be the same in many different cancers.
In the study, they reviewed the scientific evidence available on the use of aspirin as an additional treatment for a wide range of cancers.
Overall, they found that at any time after a diagnosis of cancer, about 20% more of the patients who took aspirin were alive, compared with patients not taking aspirin.
The team also considered the risks of aspirin taking and wrote to an author on each of the papers asking about any stomach or other bleeding episodes.
A small number of patients had experienced a bleed, but there was no evidence of any excess deaths attributable to bleeding in the patients on aspirin.
The study suggests that not only does aspirin help to cut the risk of death but it has also been shown to reduce the spread of cancer within the body—so-called metastatic spread.
There is now a considerable body of evidence to suggest a big reduction in mortality in patients with cancer who take aspirin—and that benefit appears to not be restricted to one or a few cancers.
Aspirin therefore appears to deserve serious consideration as an adjuvant treatment of cancer and patients with cancer and their carers should be informed of the available evidence.
The researchers also stress that aspirin is not a possible alternative to any other treatment.
If you care about aspirin and your health, please read studies about an aspirin a day keeps your bowel doctor away and findings of risks and benefits of low-dose aspirin you need to know.
For more information about aspirin, please see recent studies about regular aspirin use may help lower these cancers and results showing that aspirin could benefit these people most.
The study is published in ecancermedicalscience. One author of the study is Professor Peter Elwood.
Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.