Posts Tagged ‘ASA’

Take Two (Aspirin) and You May Not Need To Call Me In the Morning-Aspirin May Decrease Death From Prostate Cancer

August 28, 2012

A recent article from the New York Times reports that men treated for prostate cancer who took aspirin regularly for other medical conditions were less likely to die of their cancer than patients who weren’t taking aspirin. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer occurring among men and the No. 2 cancer killer of men.

The new report adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that aspirin may play a beneficial role in the treatment and possibly the prevention of a variety of cancers including prostate and colon cancer.
In the new study looked at nearly 6,000 men who had localized prostate cancer and were treated with surgery or radiotherapy. Just over one-third of the men, or 2,175 of the 5,955, were taking aspirin.
Those taking aspirin were less than half as likely as those who were not to die of prostate cancer over a 10-year period. The prostate cancer death rate for those taking aspirin was 3 percent, the researchers found, compared with 8 percent for those who did not. The aspirin users were also significantly less likely to experience a recurrence of prostate cancer or have the disease spread to the bones, the study found.

The study is not the first to find a reduction in recurrence among prostate cancer patients who took aspirin. Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia reported this year that among 2,051 prostate cancer patients, those not using aspirin were twice as likely to experience a recurrence within 18 months, as detected by rising scores on the prostate-specific antigen test, a strong predictor of metastasis and survival.

While many Americans, inclduing myself, use baby aspirin to reduce their risk of heart disease, taking aspirin regularly is risky. Patients generally are advised to do so only when their cardiac risk is presumed to outweigh the risks, which include an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke.
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said he believes that aspirin’s anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in the prevention of both heart disease and cancer.

Bottom Line: Aspirin may be helpful for preventing heart diease and preventing recurrence of prostate cancer. It’s inexpensive, readily available, and has very risks and complications. Check with your doctor before embarking on aspirin therapy. Remember, an aspirin a day may keep the prostate cancer away

An Aspirin a Day Just May Not Keep the Doctor Away

June 4, 2011

Millions of Americans take an aspirin a day with the intention of being healthy and decreasing the risk of heart disease, stokes and preventing various cancers.  Recently, experts have been questioning the aspirin-a-day regimen, concerned that this everyday miracle drug can pose serious risks, including bleeding in the brain and stomach.

Aspirin, which has been around for more than 100 years, is a cheap, easy, effective way to control pain and inflammation. In 1989, when a major study revealed that a small dose could reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by preventing blood clots, doctors began recommending that their older patients take a low dose of aspirin, 81 mg, every day.

The drug’s ability to prevent blood clots is also a double-edged sword. The body’s ability to stop bleeding is what prevents a small cut, for instance, from causing uncontrollable bleeding. While aspirin might keep clots from blocking blood flow to our hearts and brains, it also makes it more likely that we might develop serious internal bleeds, particularly in the stomach.

In March the Journal of the American Medical Association a 10-year study of nearly 30,000 adults ages 50 to 75 without known heart disease found that a daily aspirin didn’t offer any discernible protection. On the contrary, taking a daily aspirin of, 80-160mg, almost doubled the risk of dangerous internal bleeding.

And last year the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force—a panel of medical experts—issued new guidelines for patients, recommending only those at risk for heart attacks or strokes should take a daily aspirin.

Many of the risk factors for heart attacks and strokes—including age, diabetes and smoking—overlap, but there are slight differences. High total cholesterol and high levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, for instance, are important predictors of heart attacks.

The most important risk factors for strokes include high blood pressure, certain kinds of irregular heartbeats (known as atrial fibrillation) and a condition known as left ventricular hypertrophy in which some of the heart muscle thickens.

Experts agree that women who have already had strokes and men who have already had heart attacks should absolutely be taking aspirin. The new recommendations suggest aspirin will be most beneficial to: men between 45 and 79 who have a high risk for heart attacks, i.e., men who have hypertension and elevated cholesterol levels, and  women between 55 and 79 who are at high risk for strokes.

Clearly, the benefits of aspirin have to be weighed against the possibility of bleeding, and that’s a conversation that experts say every patient needs to have with his or her doctor.

Bottom Line: An aspirin a day may not harmless.  If you have any questions about the use of aspirin, check with your doctor, eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, exercise regularly, and consider an apple a day instead!

Dr. Neil Baum is a physician on staff at Touro Infirmary.  He can be reached at  (504) 891-8454 or through his website,

Want To Live Longer With Prostate Cancer? Take Two Aspirin And Call Me In The Morning

April 12, 2011

Aspirin was linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer death as reported by Dr. Kevin Choe from University of Texas Southwestern School Of Medicine.  The study reported 5295 men with prostate cancer treated with either radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy.  The average follow up was 5 years.  They found that death attributable to prostate cancer were significantly reduced in the aspirin-taking group of men compared to the group who did not take aspirin.  The most significant reduction in death from prostate cancer was noted in men with high-risk disease, i.e., those with the highest PSA levels before treatment or the highest grade of malignancy noted on the pathology report.  The findings showed that only 2% of the high-risk patients who took aspirin died from prostate cancer compared to 8% of the men who did not take aspirin.

At 10 years the difference was even more striking: 4% mortality in the aspirin group compared to 22% in men who did not take aspirin.

Dr. Choe did not discuss how aspirin improved survival but the risk of taking aspirin is so minimal that there is very little downside to taking aspirin if you have prostate cancer.

Bottom Line:  Aspirin is an amazing drug that has a multitude of uses and many undiscovered applications.  Perhaps one of those is in the treatment of prostate cancer.


“Take Two and Call Me in the Morning” – Aspirin’s Role In Cancer Prevention

March 30, 2011

One of mankind’s oldest remedies, aspirin, which has references dating it’s use to at least the 4th century BC, has received another endorsement: cancer prevention.

A recent study published in the highly respected British journal, The Lancet, indicates that low dose aspirin may play a role in the prevention of a variety of cancers. These include cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreas, intestine, lung, and prostate.

Now this new study shows that daily aspirin regimens of 5 years or more substantially reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Researches found that this regimen reduced mortality from various cancers by 10 to 60%, depending upon the type of cancer.

These findings occurred in a study of over 25,000 persons, which was initially undertaken to assess the protective effects of aspirin on heart and vascular disease. Researchers were quick to point out that the public should consult with their physician before embarking on an aspirin regimen, but do concede that the small risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is likely outweighed by the benefits in terms of cardiovascular disease prevention and now possible cancer prevention.

The study followed patients for up to 20 years. Those followed for this length of time showed a reduction in cancer related death of 10% for prostate cancer, 30% for lung cancer, 40% for colorectal cancer and 60% for esophageal cancer.

Again, doctors have cautioned patients not to be overly optimistic about this report, as some feel the claims made by this study are quite dramatic and require further analysis and investigation. Patients with a history of ulcers or other GI disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, gastric or duodenal ulcers, as well bleeding disorders are strongly advised to seek medical guidance regarding any planned use of aspirin regimens.