Emerging evidence suggesting the possibility that interventions able to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) may also be effective in the prevention of cancer have recently stimulated great interest in the medical community. In particular, data from both experimental and observational studies have demonstrated that aspirin may play a role in preventing different types of cancer. Although the use of aspirin in the secondary prevention of CVD is well established, aspirin in primary prevention is not systematically recommended because the absolute cardiovascular event reduction is similar to the absolute excess in major bleedings. By adding to its cardiovascular prevention benefits, the potential beneficial effect of aspirin in reducing the incidence of mortality and cancer could tip the balance between risks and benefits of aspirin therapy in primary prevention in favor of the latter and broaden the indication for treatment with aspirin in populations at average risk. Prospective and randomized studies are currently investigating the effect of aspirin in prevention of both cancer and CVD; however, clinical efforts at the individual level to promote the use of aspirin in global (or total) primary prevention already could be made on the basis of a balanced evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine