MAY 08, 2018 11:45 PM PDT

Increased Melanoma Risk in Men Associated With Daily Aspirin Intake

WRITTEN BY: Mauri Brueggeman

A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that men who take daily aspirin have a significantly increased risk of developing melanoma as compared to men who did not take aspirin daily.  Women taking daily aspirin did not have an increased risk.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that accounts for about 1% of all skin cancers; despite being a small percentage of all skin cancers, melanoma is the deadliest. Additionally, according to the American Cancer Society, the melanoma diagnosis rate has been increasing steadily over the past 30 years. 

The researches from Northwestern University studied the medical records of just under 200,000 patients ages 18-89 who had no prior history of melanoma.  Nearly 1200 patients were considered “aspirin exposed” having taken a daily dose of 81 to 325 mg per day for one year.  Patients were followed for 5 years and of those aspirin exposed patients, just under 2.2% had a subsequent diagnosis of melanoma within the 5 years of study.  Of the unexposed patient population, 0.86% were diagnosed with melanoma during that same time.

The study split the groups by gender to evaluate for additional information and found that men taking aspirin daily had almost two times the risk of melanoma than men who did not take aspirin daily.

This study does not advocate for men to discontinue taking aspirin daily, however.  Aspirin is useful for pain, decreasing cardiovascular risk, and has been previously found to reduce risk of other types of cancers like that of the colon or prostate.  The study authors did indicate that this information can be useful in monitoring and educating patients on appropriate use of sunscreen or alternative methods to reduce sun exposure. 

Some have suggested that the difference in gender risk found in this study may be due to decreased levels of protective enzymes in men, as compared to women.  These protective enzymes, like catalase, have been referenced in the literature as antioxidants and provide cellular protection against oxidative stress.

Sources: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Cancer Society, Nature Protocols,

About the Author
  • Mauri S. Brueggeman is a Medical Laboratory Scientist and Educator with a background in Cytogenetics and a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in the clinical laboratory, taught at the University of Minnesota, and been in post secondary healthcare education administration. She is passionate about advances and leadership in science, medicine, and education.
You May Also Like
MAR 23, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAR 23, 2020
Diagnosing Cancer by Looking for Microbial DNA in the Blood
Liquid biopsies aim to diagnose a disease with only a bit of biological fluid, usually blood.
APR 01, 2020
Cancer
APR 01, 2020
New immunotherapy for ovarian cancer
Research published recently in the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggests that targeting macrophages in a new kind of ...
APR 29, 2020
Immunology
APR 29, 2020
New Immune Cell Discovered in Mammary Ducts
Dubbed “ductal macrophages,” newly discovered immune cells found in breast tissue offer fresh promise for fu ...
MAY 04, 2020
Cancer
MAY 04, 2020
A Retroactive Study Finds an Immunotherapy Effective as a Third-Line Therapy
Cancer is a particularly persistent disease. Many therapies are composed of one or more different treatments. These trea ...
MAY 11, 2020
Cancer
MAY 11, 2020
Are antihistamines helpful for cancer?
Research recently published in the research journal Allergy suggests that a common antihistamine could improve survival ...
MAY 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAY 21, 2020
Molecular 'Switch' Makes Autoimmune Drugs Fight Cancer
Researchers from the Antibody and Vaccine Group at the University of Southampton, England, have identified a way to repu ...
Loading Comments...