Painkillers may cut prostate cancer risk a little

Taking Aspirin or the NSAID type of painkillers - drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen - regularly for a number of years may slightly reduce the likelihood of developing Prostate cancer, according to a new report.

The study, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is one of a number that have looked at the association between these anti-inflammatory agents and Prostate cancer. While several studies have uncovered an apparent anti-prostate cancer effect for NSAIDs, others have not.

To clarify the association, Dr. Eric J. Jacobs and colleagues, from the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, analyzed data from 70,144 men in the ACS’s Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.

The subjects were surveyed about NSAID use in the early and mid-1990s and then followed through 2001 to assess Prostate cancer occurrence. During follow-up, 4853 of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Currently taking NSAIDs, even at doses of 60 or more pills per month, was not significantly associated with prostate cancer risk, the investigators found.

However, taking at least 30 NSAID pills per month for 5 or more years cut the risk of prostate cancer by 18 percent. The risk reduction with long-term aspirin use was 15 percent.

“These results,” the team concludes, “support the hypothesis that long duration regular NSAID use is associated with modestly reduced risk of prostate cancer.”

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, July 6, 2005.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.