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Aspirin Could Increase Risk of Melanoma for Males

Males who take aspirin once a day are increasing their risk of developing melanoma by two-fold compared to men who are not taking daily dosages, says a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Aspirin is considered to decrease the risk of some cancers, including gastric, colon, and prostate. Taking a low dose of aspirin once a day is prescribed as a popular preventative measure for heart attack. In fact, a 2015 study found that around 50 percent of adults in the United States regularly take aspirin.

Yet, for males, this emerging evidence shows that everyday aspirin use could pose hazardous risks for their skin. On the other hand, women who take aspirin daily are not at risk for melanoma, which could be due to lower levels of protective enzymes in males.

For their report, researchers from Northwestern University looked at medical data from 200,000 patients between the ages of 18 and 89 who had no history of melanoma (including a minimum five-year follow up). Of that large group, 1,187 were aspirin exposed. Out of those patients, 2.19 percent (or 26 patients, both men and women) were later diagnosed with melanoma. Those who were aspirin-unexposed had a .86 percent chance of developing melanoma.

To prevent the risk of melanoma, the study authors don’t suggest that men should stop taking aspirin regularly, instead they should avoid intense sun exposure and get routine skin checks from their dermatologist.  

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