Daily aspirin reduces risk of developing and dying from cancer, say researchers

Taking a daily dose of aspirin can dramatically reduce the risk of developing and dying from cancer, especially from tumours of the gastrointestinal tract, researchers from Queen Mary University of London have found.

To reap the benefits, said the study, patients needed to take a 75-100 mg daily dose for at least five years, and preferably for 10 years, between the ages of 50 and 65. No benefit was seen while taking aspirin for the first three years, but an effect was then seen on incidence. Death rates reduced only after five years, and most of the benefits were seen after patients had taken aspirin over a prolonged period and then stopped.

The researchers collated the most recent systematic reviews from 51 clinical trials of the effect of aspirin on the incidence of and mortality from specific cancers and cardiovascular events.

The results, published in the Annals of Oncology, showed that aspirin could reduce incidence and mortality from gastrointestinal cancers by around a third. The effect was most pronounced in colorectal cancer, where it reduced incidence by 35% and mortality by 40%. In oesophageal cancer, incidence was reduced by 30% and mortality by 50%, and in gastric cancer these decreased by 30% and 35%, respectively.

The study also found strong evidence of a smaller effect on some other cancers. Aspirin reduced the incidence of lung cancer by around 5% and mortality by 15%, in prostate cancer incidence fell by 10% and mortality by 15%, and in breast cancer incidence reduced by 10% and mortality by 5%.

The study also showed that aspirin had a preventive effect on myocardial infarction: it reduced incidence by 18% and mortality by 5%.

The effect of aspirin on strokes was more complex: its use adversely affected haemorrhagic strokes but was beneficial for ischaemic strokes with a 5% net reduction.

Daily aspirin reduces risk of developing and dying from cancer, researchers find | The BMJ.

Prevent cancer by being fit!

Being Fit Can Protect Against Developing, Dying of Cancer!

Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) appears to be a strong independent predictor of not only developing 2 common cancers, but also the prognosis.

The risk of developing both lung and colorectal cancer were decreased by 68% and 38%, respectively, in men with the highest levels of fitness, as compared with those who were the least fit, according to a new study.

A high level of fitness was also associated with a 14% reduction in cancer-specific mortality, and a 23% reduction in cardiovascular-specific mortality.

 

Dr. Lakoski presented the findings of her research at a press briefing held in advance of the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology® (ASCO).

 

The cohort included 17,049 men (mean age, 50 years) who had received a single cardiovascular fitness assessment as part of a specialized preventive health check-up visit that was offered at the Cooper Institute, in Dallas, Texas. Performance was recorded in established units of fitness called metabolic equivalents (METs). The participants were then separated into 5 quintiles according to their fitness performance.

Medicare claims were then subsequently analyzed to identify the participants who had developed lung, colorectal, or prostate cancer. The mean times from their initial CRF assessment to cancer incidence and death were 20.2 ± 8.2 years and 24.4 ± 8.5 years, respectively. During this time period, a total of 2885 men were diagnosed with prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer (2332 with prostate cancer, 276 with colorectal cancer, and 277 with lung cancer).

Within the study period, a total of 769 men died of all-cause mortality, with 347 of those deaths due to cancer, and 159 to cardiovascular disease.

 

Compared with men in the lowest CRF quintile, the adjusted hazard ratio for lung and colorectal cancer incidence among men in the highest CRF quintile was 0.32 and 0.62 respectively.

Even a small improvement in fitness levels (1-MET increase in CRF) was associated with a 14% reduction in cancer-specific mortality.

Everyone Can Benefit!

The study authors also found that that even if the men weren’t obese, those who had low fitness had an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“This suggests that everyone can benefit from improving their fitness,” said Dr. Swain, who served as a comoderator of the briefing.

 

via Being Fit Can Protect Against Developing, Dying of Cancer.