Can Aspirin and Cancer Prevention be Ageless Companions? XE01-XE03
Dr. Mohamed Farag,
Senior Research Fellow in Cardiology, East & North Herts NHS Trust,
Lister Hospital Cardiac Centre, Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 4AB.
Over the past few decades, the rate of cancer diagnosis has increased worldwide due to the increase in population and average life expectancy, and also, due to the advances in diagnostic medical technology that facilitate early cancer detection and recognition. Nonetheless, the treatment options have not been developed proportional to this increase, with a huge number of patients frequently being diagnosed with different types of fatal cancer. This has prompted different health organizations to search for novel strategies to prevent cancer, or even halt its progression. Having failed to provide optimum vascular protection benefits, especially with the introduction of relatively superior antiplatelets, such as adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor inhibitors; clopidogrel and ticagrelor, regular aspirin use was proposed to reduce the risk of common cancers like colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and haematological malignancies, as suggested by epidemiological studies. However, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions on such weak data, as this could raise false hopes among patients and physicians and could potentially mislead scientific research. Clearly, current evidence highlights a gap in medical research and emphasizes the need to carry out interventional studies in high risk for cancer patients using specific aspirin doses in order to validate the data. This should also shed some light on the risk-benefit profile in view of the potential for bleeding complications, especially with the higher doses.