MAY 08, 2018 11:45 PM PDT

Increased Melanoma Risk in Men Associated With Daily Aspirin Intake

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
OCT 16, 2019
Cancer
OCT 16, 2019
Don't Combine Breast and Gyno Surgery, Study Advises
Surgeries can be stressful and difficult for patients, and it’s understandable that some would want to reduce the number of days they need to devote...
OCT 16, 2019
Cancer
OCT 16, 2019
New Freezing Technique for Breast Cancer Patients in Low Income Countries
Treatment for breast cancer can be too expensive and hard to access for many women in lower-income countries. These women are disproportionately affected b...
OCT 16, 2019
Health & Medicine
OCT 16, 2019
Does Cuttlefish Ink Hold a Cure for Cancer?
Using nanoparticles to deliver cancer-fighting compounds directly into tumors has been a hot research topic for the past few years. According to Lisa Ayga...
OCT 16, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
OCT 16, 2019
Insight Into a DNA Damage Sensor That Orchestrates Repair
Simple cell functions like division or metabolism can lead to DNA damage, which can also occur because of normal exposure to the sun or noxious agents....
OCT 16, 2019
Cancer
OCT 16, 2019
How cancer tricks our immune systems
Research published yesterday in Nature details the finding of a new “Don’t eat me” signal that cancers use to hide from the body’s ...
OCT 16, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
OCT 16, 2019
Genetic Cause for Tumor Progression
Researchers from the University of Delaware (UDEL), Harvard Medical School (HMS) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), have discovered a ribonu...
Loading Comments...