An Aspirin a Day Keeps Melanoma Away?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Taking aspirin daily can lower your risk of heart attack, but new research is now suggesting that women who take aspirin have a reduced risk of developing melanoma too!
The research suggests that aspirin’s anti-inflammatory effects may help protect against melanoma. In the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers observed women in the U.S. who were between 50 and 70 years old for an average of 12 years. They recorded what medications the women were on, what they ate, what activities they performed, and who developed cancer.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto analyzed data from 59,806 Caucasian women. Results showed that women who took more aspirin were less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer during the 12 years of follow up.
Women who used aspirin had a 21 percent lower risk of melanoma relative to non-users. Each incremental increase in duration of aspirin use (less than one year, one to four years, and five or more years) was associated with an 11 percent lower risk of melanoma. Women who used aspirin for five or more years had a 30 percent lower risk of melanoma than those who did not use aspirin. The study was controlled for different pigmentation, sunscreen use, tanning practices, and other factors that can affect the risk of skin cancer.
"Aspirin works by reducing inflammation and this may be why using aspirin may lower your risk of developing melanoma," Jean Tang, MD, PhD, at Stanford University School of Medicine, was quoted as saying.
Medications, like acetaminophen, did not lower women’s risk of melanoma. Dr. Tang said that the findings support the design of a clinical trial to test directly whether aspirin can be used to prevent melanoma.
SOURCE: CANCER, March 2013