Does aspirin taken daily reduce the risk of cancer and death due to cancer?
From: The Lancet
- Rothwell, P.M., Fowkes, F.G.R., Belch, J.F., Ogawa, H., Warlow, C.P., Meade, T.W., 2011. Effect of daily aspirin on long-term risk of death due to cancer: analysis of individual patient data from randomised trials. The Lancet 377, 31–41.
- 25,570 patients across 8 trials
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.
- Allocation to aspirin reduced death due to cancer (odds reduced by 21%).
- Benefit was apparent only after 5 years' follow-up (all cancers risk reduced by 34%, and gastrointestinal cancers by 54%).
- The 20-year risk of cancer death (1,634 deaths in 12,659 patients in three trials) remained lower in the aspirin groups than in the control groups (20% in all cancers; 35% in gastrointestinal cancers), and benefit increased with scheduled duration of trial treatment (≥7·5 years).
- Benefit was unrelated to aspirin dose (75 mg upwards), sex, or smoking, but increased with age.
- Yes (with confidence)