According to Women’s Health Institute (WHI) and other studies there is credible evidence showing that aspirin can protect against the deadliest skin cancer melanoma. Studies had already shown that aspirin can help lower the risk of other cancers such as colon, breast, esophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder, and ovarian cancers. Over the years there has been an increase in melanoma for reasons such as sun exposure and use of tanning beds, which are the biggest causes of melanoma. Researchers also believe that inflammation also plays a big role in cancer development and aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug. Taking NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and naproxen did not lower the risk. Previously, the only prevention suggestions were to stay out of the sun and to get your skin checked early for the signs of this disease. Early detection is critical for this deadly cancer.
The American Cancer Society reports that skin cancer accounts for 1/2 of all cancers in the United States. There are more than 2 million cases of skin cancer reported a year and of these 75,000 are melanoma.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and it protects the internal organs from injury and serves as a barrier between germs, such as bacteria; and prevents from the loss of too much fluid. Melanoma starts in the skin cells and can spread throughout the body.
The study looked at 60,000 post-menopausal caucasian women. The reason this study used caucasian women is because of the light-skinned pigmentation. Caucasian women have a higher risk and are reported to have 95% of the melanoma cases. Over a 12 year period, women who took at least a couple of aspirin over a week had a lower risk of developing this deadly cancer. Based on the entire data women who took aspirin lowered their risk 11% at one year, between one and four years by 22%; and at 5 years up to 30%. This is a significant percentage. Researchers from Erasmus University in the Netherlands published results of a study that provides evidence that women with melanoma are more likely to have improved survival rates than men and have an advantage to preventing melanoma.
Even though this is a positive step forward in the battle against melanoma researchers are not recommending everyone take aspirin every day. This would be require stronger evidence that would come from a long, expensive clinical trial that would need some government funding, which at this time is not available.