Recent studies are now aiming to the benefits of adding aspirin to conventional cancer treatment.
The lead author of the new study, Peter Elwood, of the Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom which was published in the journal PLOS One, stated that the use of low-dose aspirin as a preventive in heart disease, stroke, and cancer is well-known, but evidence is now emerging that the drug may have a valuable role as an additional treatment for cancer, too.”
The three studies published in 2012 in the journal The Lancet stated that taking aspirin on daily basis may prevent a series of cancers in middle-aged people.
According to another report, aspirin helps improve the potency of an anti-cancer medication in mice. In this background, the lead researcher and team set out to scrutinize the benefits of aspirin ingestion in the treatment of cancer.
How Aspirin Improves Cancer
The team of researchers set out to investigate the role of aspirin in cancer treatment. They examined 71 studies, which totaled up to 120,000 people who had been diagnosed with cancer and began taking aspirin along with their treatment.
Two reviewers weighed the eligibility of the studies and examined the number of deaths related to cancer, the incidence of metastases, and the mortality from other causes among people in the aspirin-taking group.
Lastly, the team of scientists compared these data with those of roughly 400,000 people who weren’t placed on the medication.
From the studies, 29 studied cases of colorectal cancer. The researchers focused on breast cancer, which featured in 14 studies, and prostate cancer, which was the subject of 16 studies.
Generally, the study revealed that the odds of surviving a cancer diagnosis were 20–30 percent greater among people who took aspirin compared with those who did not.
The team of researchers also noted that the evidence suggests aspirin may profit different cancers to varying extents. Aspirin seems to reduce the risk of dying from colon cancer by 25 percent, the risk of breast cancer mortality by 20 percent, and the risk of dying of prostate cancer by 15 percent.
The authors concede some limitations to their review. For instance, they write that the studies reviewed are purely observational and some of them did not find any benefits to taking aspirin.
However, Elwood and the team concluded that the findings “merit wide discussion regarding whether or not it is adequate to justify the recommendation of low-dose therapeutic aspirin” in the treatment of cancer.
“Evidence from further studies is urgently required, and patients should be strongly encouraged to participate in appropriate research studies,” says the study’s lead author, Peter Elwood.
According to Peter Elwood;
Patients with cancer should be given the evidence now available and be helped to make their own judgment of the balance between the risks and the benefits of daily low dose.”