Why Your Prostate Reading Could Be WRONG

More than $62 billion a year is spent worldwide on over-the-counter painkillers, according to Psychological Science. Now scientists have discovered that popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—such as aspirin and ibuprofen—may be dangerous for your prostate. These drugs can reduce blood levels of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) marker doctors use to detect abnormal prostate cells.

This finding suggests that regular use of over-the-counter painkillers could reduce your chances of receiving an accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer risk.

For the new study, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York examined PSA levels of 1,319 American men—all over 40 years of age—who used NSAIDs and acetaminophen.  

The researchers found that men who used NSAIDs regularly had PSA levels about 10 percent lower than men who did not use these drugs.  The research group said this finding suggests that regular NSAID consumption may reduce serum PSA levels. But they remain unsure how this could impact the development of prostate cancer.

Study results were published in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer.