Taking aspirin could decrease your risk of developing skin cancer.
A new study shows women who take a regular dose of aspirin are not as likely to get melanoma.
Jean Tang, an assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University, and her colleagues looked at data from 59,806 Caucasian women between the ages of 50 and 79 who were taking part of the Women's Health Initiative study.
Researchers chose to concentrate on Caucasian women because melanoma is much more common among them.
At the beginning of the study, the women were asked which medications they were taking, what they ate and what activities they participated in.
The women in the aspirin group took a dose of aspirin at least twice a week at baseline. When they were asked about aspirin use again three years later, 60-70 percent of the group was still taking it at least twice a week.
Overall, women who used aspirin had a 21 percent lower risk of melanoma compared to those who didn't take the medication. The longer women used aspirin, the lower the rate of the potentially fatal skin cancer. So, those who had used aspirin for one to four years had an 11 percent reduction in risk, as compared to 30 percent among those taking aspirin for five or more years.
Tang said, "We think our results are very exciting and that they add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that aspirin may have some real anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties."
Tang also said aspirin reduces inflammation and cancer cells with a lot of inflammation grow more and are more aggressive.
The findings were published Monday on the "Cancer" website.