Aspirin may help cut risk of melanoma


By Brooke Strickland

 

Aspirin is known to offer a variety of other benefits to the body such as pain relief and prevention of heart attack.  And it has also been shown to help prevent prostate cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer, and more.   In addition, a recent study conducted through Stanford University found that people that regularly took aspirin are less likely to develop melanoma than those who don’t take the drug.  Because inflammation is a large player in cancer, taking aspirin, which is a natural anti-inflammation drug, may be part of the reason why it can be a way to prevent cancer.   The study looked at nearly 60,000 Caucasian women ages 50 to 79 and after dividing them into groups  - one that was not taking the drug, and the other that took aspirin at least twice a day.  The results showed that women who took aspirin appeared to have an average of 21% lower risk of melanoma. The longer these women took aspirin, the more protection they had. After a year, they cut their risk by 11%. Between one and four years, it was cut by 22%. After five years or longer, risk reduction was 30%. (1)

There are other ways to cut your risk of developing melanoma.  First, reduce your exposure to UV light.  The more amount of exposure to UV light you have, the higher chance you have of getting skin cancer.  Avoid tanning beds and when you’re outside for long periods of time, put on a sunblock.   Second, if you have moles on your body, keep a close eye on them.  People that have a lot of moles have a higher risk of developing melanoma.  Third, individuals with very fair skin, freckles, or light hair are also more at risk for melanoma.  In addition, if you have a family history of melanoma, you are at a greater risk, so be sure to have regular skin exams done through your dermatologist. 

 

 

 

 

1.   Landau, Elizabeth.  “Aspirin may cut melanoma risk, study finds.” CNN.com. March 11, 2013.  http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/11/aspirin-cuts-melanoma-risk-study-finds/  Accessed March 16, 2013.

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