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Daily Aspirin May Help Fight Prostate Cancer, But Not Breast Cancer
Date:8/27/2012

eir medical histories and lifestyle. All were asked about their routine use of aspirin and/or other NSAIDS.

Over the course of three decades, more than 4,700 of the women developed some form of invasive breast cancer. Yet, Zhang's team found that neither regular aspirin nor other NSAIDs had any significant impact on overall breast cancer risk, regardless of how much they were used.

Meanwhile, Liauw and his team explored the potential benefit of aspirin use among nearly 6,000 men diagnosed with, and undergoing treatment for, prostate cancer.

The men were drawn from 41 different health centers across the United States, and all had undergone either surgery (radical prostatectomy) or radiotherapy.

The team noted that 37 percent of the patients were already taking some type of anticoagulant (aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and/or enoxaparin). No aspirin or other anticoagulant was prescribed once the study began.

After more than 10 years of follow-up, the team found that among those taking some type of anticoagulant, the risk of dying from prostate cancer was significantly lower than it was among those not taking one.

Further analysis revealed that most of the benefit came from aspirin use, which Liauw said was responsible for a 57 percent reduction in the risk of prostate cancer death.

Because dosage information was not collected, no conclusions could be drawn about exactly how much aspirin was most beneficial. However, the team noted that the protective effect was strongest among patients with particularly "high-risk" disease.

Both study teams said that more research is needed to confirm their respective findings. And neither study proved a cause-and-effect relationship between aspirin use and its effect on cancer.

"So, at this point, this is just hypothesis-generating," Liauw said. "It may be true, but it needs to be tested more formally."

Zhang added that although aspirin showed little be
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