Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Aspirin may cut skin cancer risk

  • Comment

Aspirin may protect women from the most dangerous form of skin cancer, research has shown.

The longer a woman takes the painkiller, the lower the risk of melanoma, scientists discovered.

Researchers in the US observed women aged 50 to 79 for an average of 12 years and recorded any cases of cancer.

The women were questioned about what medications they took as well as their diet and lifestyle.

Data from 59,806 women showed that those who took more aspirin were less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer.

Overall, aspirin users were 21% less at risk than non-users.

Each step-rise in the duration of aspirin use was associated with a greater degree of protection.

Women who had regularly been taking aspirin for five or more years were 30% less likely to develop melanoma than women who did not use aspirin.

The scientists controlled for differences in skin pigmentation, tanning practices, sunscreen use, and other factors that might 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,” said study leader Dr Jean Tang, from Stanford University School of Medicine in the US.

The findings are published in an early online edition of the journal Cancer.

Other pain-killing medicines, such as paracetamol, did not lower melanoma risk, said Dr Tang.

The results justified a bigger clinical trial to see whether aspirin can be taken to prevent the disease, she added.

The research formed part of the Women’s Health Initiative, a major US investigation into links between lifestyle and disease.

Each year around 13,000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK and 2,200 die from the disease.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.