Aspirin – a new weapon in the fight against skin cancer?
There’s been very promising news from a study carried out in Denmark.
Researchers have found taking aspirin regularly may reduce the likelihood of two types of skin cancer.
They studied the medical records of almost 200,000 people. Roughly 18,000 had been diagnosed with one of three kinds of cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or the most serious, malignant melanoma.
They looked at prescriptions issued to these 18,000 over eight years, noting how many had taken aspirin or similar anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
Effects of anti-inflammatories on skin cancer
Those prescribed the drugs more frequently had less incidence of skin cancer. And the higher the dose and the longer they took them for, the more profound the protective effect.
Squamous cell carcinoma showed a 15% decreased rate and malignant melanoma a 13% decreased rate in people with more than two prescriptions for aspirin or similar.
Rates of the third type of cancer – basal cell carcinoma – did not appear to be affected overall. But aspirin did cut the rate of this cancer developing on certain parts of the body other than the head or neck.
Though the researchers admitted they couldn’t monitor the exact amounts of aspirin taken, and didn’t take into account other variables like sun exposure, the results suggest aspirin could have a significant part to play as part of a wider skin cancer protection regime.
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