Another Benefit of Aspirin That Many People Don’t Know

There may be yet another benefit of aspirin that many people are not aware of.  Aspirin has long been used to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and other heart related health issues, but lately, this common pain reliever is getting even more attention.  The reason?  Research shows that aspirin may be a powerful tool when it comes to fighting certain types of cancer, including skin cancer in women.


Aspirin may be helpful in preventing melanoma.

Aspirin may be helpful in preventing melanoma.

The journal Cancer published a study that found women that took aspirin regularly had fewer melanoma diagnoses than women that did not take aspirin.  Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.  Researchers tracked the use of aspirin in nearly 60,000 women who were post-menopausal for 12 years.  The study found that those that took aspirin were as much as 21 percent less likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer than those that didn’t.  The benefits only increased with time; results showed that women who regularly took aspirin for over five years experienced a 30 percent lower risk of skin cancer.

According the author of the study, Jean Tang, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, “Aspirin works by reducing inflammation, which in turn may work to reduce the risk of melanoma.”

While studies have shown that when aspirin is taken with omega-3 fatty acids age related inflammation that is linked to heart disease, lung disease and arthritis can be reduced, some are not sure that aspirin is a good choice for everyone.

Aspirin regimens have been linked to eye troubles and stomach bleeding; so many wonder if it’s the best course of action for everyone.   Taking just one low dose aspirin a day has the potential to cause these side effects, and stomach bleeding is especially common in women who are over the age of 65, but it doesn’t happen for everyone.  However, it leaves many people wondering if it’s worth the risk to take this pain reliever as part of a healthy lifestyle.

The answer might be no:  Depending on the risk factors that a patient has and what their health care provider advises, aspirin may not be necessary.  Instead, a healthy diet,  regular exercise and safe habits such as wearing sunscreen regularly may be all many people need to stay optimally healthy.  Only your health care provider can help you to decide if taking aspirin is a good idea for you, but if you think you should take aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

So, how does one know if they should start taking aspirin?  According to Matthew Sorrentino, MD, no one should just go out and start a low dose aspirin regimen without talking to their doctor.  Taking the occasional aspirin to fight pain is much different from choosing to take it as a part of a healthy lifestyle, and the risks are different, too.  So, for many, the potential benefits aren’t worth the risks.

Written by Tony Clark

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