A US study has found the women consuming aspirin reduce their risk of developing melanoma, a type of dangerous type of skin cancer, and the longer they take the medicine, the lower risk they have.
The findings suggest that aspirin's anti-inflammatory effects may help protect against this type of skin cancer. The study was published early online Monday in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, Xinhua reported.
In the Women's Health Initiative, researchers observed the US women, aged 50 to 79, for an average of 12 years and the individuals developing cancer were noted.
At the beginning of the study, the women were asked which medications they took, what they ate, and what activities they performed.
When Jean Tang of Stanford University School of Medicine and her colleagues analysed available data from 59,806 Caucasian women in the study, they found the women who took more aspirin were less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer during the 12 years of follow-up.
Overall, 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 of use, one to four years of use, and five or more years of use) was associated with an 11% lower risk of melanoma. Thus, women who used aspirin for five or more years had a 30% lower melanoma risk than women who did not use aspirin.
"Aspirin works by reducing inflammation and this may be why using aspirin may lower your risk of developing melanoma," said Tang.