3-Apr-13 9:00 AM  CST

Study Suggests Aspirin Could Reduce Risk of Melanoma

Recent studies show that women between the ages of 50 and 79 taking aspirin may have a decreased chance of developing melanoma skin cancer.  It should be noted that prolonged use of aspirin may potentially produce serious side effects so patients should consult with their physician concerning the use of aspirin on a daily basis. 
The study was run by researchers at Stanford University and published in the online peer-reviewed journal titled CANCER by the American Cancer Society.  Researchers studied approximately 60,000 Caucasian women over a 12 year period to see which of the women developed skin cancer.  Study subjects were asked what type of medications they were taking and about their eating habits.  They were also asked about how much sun they were exposed to and other questions about their lifestyle.  According to the study the women that took aspirin had a 21% reduced risk of getting skin cancer compared to women in the study who did not take aspirin.  The length of time the women took aspirin also played a big part in whether their chances for developing skin cancer went up or down.        
American Cancer Society strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology Eric Jacobs, PhD, recently commented on the use of aspirin and its risks and benefits.  “It is important to remember that aspirin is a real drug with real side effects, including sometimes causing serious, even occasionally fatal stomach bleeding, even at low doses.  Aspirin use is for heart disease prevention for most people who have had a heart attack, and has some benefits for cancer as well.  However, at this point the American Cancer Society does not recommend that people use aspirin specifically to prevent cancer.”  Jacobs recommends that individuals talk to their doctor about their use of aspirin and the risks and benefits associated with it. 
1.  Simon, Stacey.  “Aspirin Linked to Lower Melanoma Risk in Study.”  American Cancer Society.  Web.  12 Mar 2013. 
2.  Science Daily Reports.  “Aspirin May Lower Melanoma Risk.”  Science Daily.  Web.  11 Mar 2013. 

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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