Chemoprevention describes the potential of chemicals to intervene and block multistage carcinogenesis. Aspirin (acetylsalicylate) is showing cancer chemopreventive potential and the medicine has public health potential given that low-doses also reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 30%. Whilst recognising that aspirin has undesirable effects, perhaps the medicine may compliment other cancer control programmes such as screening and lifestyle measures. Furthermore, perhaps the cancer chemopreventive potential of aspirin might be mediated, at least in part, by salicylate which is present in fruits and vegetables. Salicylate might therefore be considered to be a nutraceutical. Furthermore, there are a number of matters that arise including the potential for the public health field to further advocate the self-care preventive agenda, which might include aspirin. Perhaps it is now timely for a conference on the public health potential of aspirin to be convened.
Key words :
aspirin, cancer control, salicylate, nutraceutical, public health