BACKGROUND: Aspirin use has been shown to lower incidence and mortality in cancer patients. The aim of this population-based study was to determine the effect of postdiagnosis low-dose aspirin use on survival of patients with oesophageal cancer. MEHODS: Patients with oesophageal cancer (1998-2010) were selected from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry and linked with outpatient pharmacy data regarding aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Users were subdivided into both prediagnosisand postdiagnosis or only postdiagnosis users. Parametric survival models with an exponential (Poisson) distribution were used with non-specific death as endpoint. RESULTS: In this study 560 patients were included. Overall, 157 patients (28.0%) were non-users, 293 patients (52.3%) pre- and postdiagnosis (89 aspirin and 204 NSAID users) and 110 patients (19.6%) only postdiagnosis users (16 aspirin and 94 NSAID users). Postdiagnosis aspirin use was associated with overall survival (RR 0.45 (95% CI 0.34-0.60; P<0.001); adjusted rate ratio was 0.42 (95% CI: 0.30-0.57; P<0.001). Postdiagnosis use of NSAIDs was associated with overall survival (RR 0.61 (95% CI 0.49-0.76; <0.001); however, adjusted analyses did not show a significant association with a rateratio of 0.84 (95% CI 0.66-1.07; P=0.2). CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that postdiagnosis aspirin use might be associated with a higher survival rate in oesophageal cancer patients. A randomised clinical trial is needed to verify our observations of possible postdiagnosis aspirin use benefit.