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A lab test to screen for prostate cancer is one of the first steps that men can take toward tackling this disease. Those who have the illness can turn to different treatment options, such as surgery or radiation. Anticoagulant therapy may also be beneficial.
Now, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggest that aspirin may extend the lives of prostate cancer patients.
This conclusion is based on a study of nearly 6,000 men who underwent radiotherapy or surgery for prostate cancer. About 37 percent of subjects took anticoagulants, which included warfarin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin and aspirin.
The 10-year mortality rates among those who did or did not take anticoagulants were 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively. The strongest effects were seen among those who took aspirin.
"The results from this study suggest that aspirin prevents the growth of tumor cells in prostate cancer, especially in high-risk prostate cancer, for which we do not have a very good treatment currently," said researcher first author Kevin Choe. "But we need to better understand the optimal use of aspirin before routinely recommending it to all prostate cancer patients."
In the meantime, men can monitor their response to prostate cancer treatment with help from a lab test.
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