While many of the estimated 180,000 American men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year will learn they have a slow-growing, highly treatable form of the disease not all will be so lucky. Some men will find their form of prostate cancer is more aggressive. Others will be diagnosed with the disease after it’s reached a later, more deadly stage. Approximately 26,000 men, in fact, die from the disease each year in the United States.
Helping men avoid the possibility of lethal forms of the disease from developing has long been a concern for researchers. A new study may offer a simple solution to achieve that goal. Researchers found that regular aspirin use may lower the likelihood of morbidity associated with prostate cancer. While it’s premature at this point for men to rush to their medicine cabinets to add aspirin to their daily routines, researchers say the results were promising. Men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer that also took aspirin regularly were shown to have a 39 percent lower risk of dying from the disease than other patients. Aspirin, however, did not have a measurable benefit in reducing a man’s risk for developing the disease in the first place. Notably, researchers also found that men without prostate cancer who used aspirin regularly had a 24 percent lower risk of developing a lethal form of the disease.
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of the disease in American males. Age, family history, ethnicity and other factors all play roles in a man’s likelihood to develop the disease. While the jury is still out on how well aspirin may help men avoid fatal cases of the disease, the need for men to discuss prostate health with their doctors is clear. All men, roughly age 50 and up, are urged to talk about prostate cancer and their personal risks with a healthcare provider.