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Aspirin May Lower Melanoma Risk

New research has found that women who take aspirin have a reduced risk of developing melanoma, and that the longer they take it, the lower the risk.

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Overall, women who used aspirin had a 21% lower risk of melanoma relative to non-users, with each incremental increase in duration of aspirin use associated with an 11% lower risk of melanoma. The findings suggest that aspirin’s anti-inflammatory effects may help protect against this type of skin cancer.

“The findings are an important reminder of the therapeutic potential of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in cancer. For many years, doctors have observed the beneficial impact of NSAIDs, such as aspirin, in cancer, without fully comprehending the biological processes involved.

“Today, many research groups are pulling apart this link to understand these anti-cancer effects in the hope they can be boosted and replicated through the development of new treatments.”

Associate Professor Steven Stacker is co-Head of the Tumour Angiogenesis Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. In February 2012 his team discovered a gene (pgdh) that embodies a link between NSAIDs and the ability for tumours to spread in the body.

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“The results provide important information to stimulate further research in inflammation and NSAIDs in melanoma. However, the results and design of this study are not sufficient in any way to conclude that people can take aspirin to prevent melanoma.

“Preventing exposure to UV...

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