Associations between aspirin use and the risk of cancers

Previous epidemiological studies have identified the association between aspirin use and cancer. This updated meta-analysis of observational studies aimed to assess if regular aspirin use decreases the risk of cancer. A total of 218 studies with 309 reports were included in the study. Aspirin use was associated with a significant decrease in the overall risk of cancer (RR=0.89, 95%CI: 0.87-0.91). The results supported the presence of inverse relationships between aspirin use and the risk of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, pancreatic, ovarian, endometrial, breast, prostate and small intestine neuroendocrine tumors. However, no significant associations were observed for the risk of over cancers including lung, cervical, thyroid and skin cancers. A stronger protective effect was observed in North American populations who used aspirin for at least 5 years. Given the confidence limits of the meta-analysis, further mechanistic studies should help elucidate the mechanisms behind this correlation.

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