Aspirin every day can increase the risk of skin cancer.
daily dose of aspirin doubles men’s risk of developing skin cancer, a major study has found.
Researchers expressed their surprise at the results because aspirin, which generally reduces heart attack risk, is reported to reduce the chance of getting gastric, colon, prostate and breast cancer.
Scientists compared medical record data of almost 200,000 patients who either used aspirin or didn’t, all of whom were aged from 18 to 89, and had no history of melanoma.
Over the next five years they monitored their progress and of the 195,140 patients, 1,187 of whom took aspirin daily at doses between 81 and 325 mg.
This was to allow for at least five years of follow-up data to detect if melanoma occurred over time.
The study found men exposed to aspirin had almost twice the risk for diagnosis of melanoma, an adjusted relative risk of 1.83 per cent of them, compared to those who weren’t (less than one per cent).
Dr Beatrice Nardone, research assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said: “Given the widespread use of aspirin and the potential clinical impact of the link to melanoma, patients and health care providers need to be aware of the possibility of increased risk for men.”
Ways to tackle the risk include avoiding tanning beds and increasing patient education about sun exposure, she suggested. Getting skin checks by a dermatologist, particularly for individuals who are already at high risk for skin cancers, was crucial, Dr Nardone said.
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