08:42 18 November 2008
Taking a dose of aspirin daily could help fight prostate cancer, according to new research.
The study, which was led by Dr Jay Fowke, has shown that those with the deadly disease can lower their PSA levels by regularly taking the painkiller.
PSA, or prostate specific antigen, is used as a blood maker. It monitors how cancer is spreading through a sufferer, with larger counts indicting tumour growth.
It can also be caused by a benign condition. A biopsy (the removal of a small piece of tissue for examination in a laboratory) is needed to confirm the presence of the cancer.
1,277 men in Tennessee took part in the Nashville Men's health study, with roughly 37% of test subjects showing a 9% fall in their PSA level when they took asprin daily.
Dr Jay Fowke said: "These findings could be consistent with a positive effect".
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The possibility remains that rather than helping to cure the cancer the aspirin may well be masking symptoms, lowering PSA levels without affecting the disease.
This could lead to some cancer patients slipping through detection processes.
Prostate cancer is currently the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men worldwide. It kills one man every hour in the UK.
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