We’ve previously seen that low-dose aspirin use prevents cancer, and does so by a number of mechanisms, such as iron chelation and AMPK activation. For this brief report, I want to note also that aspirin use prevents lung cancer.
The reason for doing so is that lung cancer is of course associated with cigarette smoking. If aspirin prevents lung cancer, then it says something about the mechanism of lung cancer as well as its ability to counteract tobacco carcinogens.
Report 1: Aspirin and lung cancer in women. Odds ratio for lung cancer in women who used aspirin more than 3 times a week was 0.66, i.e. a 34% reduction in lung cancer incidence.
Report 2: Regular aspirin use and lung cancer risk. Odds ratio 0.57, and a greater reduction with longer duration of aspirin use.
Report 3: Chemoprevention of lung cancer by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs among cigarette smokers. Huge, 75% reduction in lung cancer risk and “only heavy smokers were included in the control group”, i.e. a comparison of smokers with cancer and those without. Of interest, ibuprofen was also associated with lower risk, OR 0.39.
Report 4: Aspirin Use and Lung, Colon, and Breast Cancer Incidence in a Prospective Study. 32% less lung cancer (and 30% less breast cancer). In this study, aspirin use was characterized only once, when participants answered a question as to whether they used aspirin in the previous 30 days. If they had used aspirin longer, presumably risk would have been lower.
I’m personally interested in this topic for 2 reasons: 1) I’m a former smoker, and cancer risk lasts a long time; I quit over 30 years ago, so knock on wood, but you never know; 2) it shows that aspirin, which is literally the world’s cheapest drug, has untapped potential for health.
Hundreds of millions of people globally smoke cigarettes, and aspirin could prove a huge benefit to them, since obviously many of them aren’t interested in quitting, or can’t quit.
Aspirin: saving more lives than statins at 1% of the cost.
By the way, green tea cuts lung cancer risk radically.