Aspirin has many benefits. From headache relief to reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, it has helped improve the lives of millions of Americans. Yet there is controversy over whether or not this wonder pill can help prevent against the development of prostate cancer.
There has been some discussion recently regarding the association of aspirin use and the development of prostate cancer. A study published late last year evaluated 849 men undergoing prostate biopsy for an elevated PSA. They found that 63% of the men taking aspirin were diagnosed with prostate cancer whereas only 41% of the men not taking aspirin had prostate cancer. Men using aspirin were 2-2.5 times more likely to have prostate cancer. It is not clear if the aspirin has a clear association with prostate cancer or if it instead suppresses the PSA when it is elevated from non-cancerous causes.
Another study, the REDUCE trial, recently looked at this relationship as well. The study included men with an elevated PSA and a previous negative biopsy. The patients underwent repeat biopsies at years 2 and 4. A subset analysis of the men taking aspirin found that they were less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer on subsequent biopsy.
These two studies clearly conflict each other in their findings, suggesting that further evaluation is needed for us to understand if there is any association between aspirin use and the development of prostate cancer.