Aspirin Dramatically Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

aspirin dramatically cuts prostate cancer risk

Aspirin is perhaps the most underrated and cheapest life-extension drug currently available. It increases lifespan in mice and prevents heart attacks and cancer. A new study in the International Journal of Cancer reports that aspirin dramatically cuts prostate cancer risk.

Mainstream medicine has made it seem that prostate cancer is all but inevitable for men; it’s the second most common cancer in men. This may be true for men who follow mainstream advice and eat lots of carbs and sugar and don’t worry about processed food with lots of cancer-causing vegetable oils. Or men who allow their iron levels to get too high.

In any case, even for men who do follow conventional advice, low-dose aspirin use radically cuts their risk of prostate cancer. The study looked at men who had a diagnosis of coronary artery disease or cerebrovascular disease and either took aspirin or did not. In all, a total of 13,453 men were followed.

The results were adjusted for confounders, including age, smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and other medications.

It found that men who took low-dose aspirin for greater than 5 years had a hazard ratio for prostate cancer of 0.42, which equates to a nearly 60% reduction in that disease.

The men who took aspirin more than twice a week had a greater reduction in cancer.

Low-dose aspirin, for the purposes of this study, was considered anything less than 100 mg. In practice, in the U.S., low-dose aspirin is a baby aspirin of 80 mg.

Why does aspirin work to reduce cancer?

There are a few reasons why aspirin reduces cancer, although somewhat speculative.

One, which the study emphasizes, is reduction of inflammation and, in particular, inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX), which is overexpressed in tumor cells.

Another, which I emphasize, is that aspirin lowers levels of iron. Long-term aspirin users have lower levels of ferritin, the iron-storage protein. Aspirin is actually an iron chelator, and it causes minor bleeding which lowers iron levels over time. This can partially account for the lag time of 5 years seen in the full effect of aspirin on cancer.

Interestingly, aspirin also prevents metastatic spread of prostate cancer, which is the kind that kills people, decreasing the risk some 40%. 

Should you take aspirin?

You should consult your doctor if you’re considering taking daily low-dose aspirin. For an idea of whether it would benefit you, see here.

PS: For more on iron and cancer, see my book Dumping Iron.

PPS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men.

 

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7 comments
Herman Rutner says October 8, 2016

Chewable baby aspirin, 81 mg, is preferred since it does not cause localized ulcers in the stomach or intestinal mucosa. Regular aspirin may cause ulcers when disintegrating in contact with the gastric mucosa. Enteric coated baby aspirin disintegrates in the intestines and may also cause perforations in the extemely thin linings. In case of heart attack, only chewable aspirin, taken as about 4 tablets equal to 1 regular aspirin, is absorbed into the blood stream within minutes not hours for regular or coated aspirin.

Reply
    Shaq says October 10, 2016

    Herman – any difference – other than taste – between chewing a standard baby aspirin vs. a chewable?

    Reply
Shaq says October 11, 2016

PDM – Any concerns re: taking aspirin and fish oil since both function as blood thinners?

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says October 11, 2016

    I’m not aware of any. In theory there might be a concern but fish oil dose seems to have to be high before bleeding tendencies emerge. With aspirin, older people and those with previous GI problems like ulcers are more at risk.

    Reply
Steven says October 16, 2016

I read that white willow bark had some great anti aging properties. Isnt aspirin derived from this? Maybe it makes more sense to take the willow bark with less side effects and some possible synergistic effects?

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