Monday, 3 September 2012

Aspirin is good for you, sort of.
Recently the Journal of Clinical Oncology ran an article on Aspirin and prostate cancer. That’s heavy reading, you say. So let me help and sum it up for you:

People with prostate cancer who take Aspirin are less likely to die of cancer than those who don’t. Mind you the article warns us that this statement is not based on a randomized controlled trial, known as the gold standard of medical research. So what is it based on? Let me guess. A trial controlled by the makers of Aspirin? The kind of trial that’s known as the Dollar standard of medical research?

At least the study was specific. Researchers reported only on deaths from prostate cancer. Okay. Maybe a little too specific. What about the guys who died of side effects before they could die of prostate cancer and tip the scales against Aspirin?

And the study was limited to a 10-year period.
Wait a minute. What about those who died in Year 11? I guess this is where we apply the rule known as the loophole standard of medical research, something about this being true in 19 out of 20 cases, ninety-nine percent of the time?

Researchers found no link between the regular use of Aspirin and the risk of breast cancer.  Oh, good. Finally something about women. Up to this point the article showed a definite gender bias. I thought they had forgotten to include women in the prostate cancer study. I mean, you never know with non-randomized, non- controlled trials.

A randomized study would be difficult, the article says, because the natural progression of the disease is such that you won’t know the outcome for 10 to 15 years.
See, that’s why I was asking about Year 11. Perhaps all the subjects died in Years 11-15. After all, the researchers admit:

Taking Aspirin regularly is risky. You could die of gastrointestinal bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke or other hard-to-pronounce diseases, but so what?  Just don’t die of prostate cancer and mess up their statistics.

1 comment:

  1. Still alive and kicking after taking Baby Aspirin( as I enter my 2nd childhood it seems entirely fitting) albeit at much slower pace. Although not a prostate cancer candidate !