Intake of aspirin once daily nearly doubles the risk of melanoma in men compared to those who are not exposed to daily aspirin, reports a new study. Almost half of people age 65 and over reported taking aspirin daily or every other day, according to a 2005 study. In 2015, about half of a nationwide survey of U.S. adults reported regular aspirin use.
Nardone and her associates conducted a study to establish a link between daily intake of aspirin and possibility of developing of melanoma.
Previous research reveals that it reduces risk of gastric, colon, prostate and breast cancer and have also reported a reduced risk in aspirin-exposed men and an increased risk in aspirin-exposed women.
Meta-analysis of 200,000 patients who were aspirin-exposed or aspirin-unexposed (control group), ages 18-89, with no prior history of melanoma and with a follow-up time of at least five years was done
For the aspirin-exposed patient population, the study included only patients who had at least one year of once-daily aspirin exposure at a dose of 81 or 325 mg occurring between January 2005 and December 2006 in order to allow for at least five years of follow-up data to detect if melanoma occurred over time. Out of a total of 195,140 patients, 1,187 were aspirin exposed. Of these 1,187 patients, 26 (2.19 percent) (both men and women) had a subsequent diagnosis for melanoma compared to 1,676 (0.86 percent) in aspirin-unexposed (men and women) patients.
The study found that the groups separated into men and women, men exposed to aspirin had almost twice the risk for having melanoma compared to men in the same population who were not exposed to aspirin.
The study speculated that men have lower amount of protective enzymes, like superoxide dismutase and catalase, compared to females which suggests that a higher level of resulting oxidative cellular damage in men might contribute to the possibility of developing melanoma but no strong evidence has been found in this aspect.
“Given the widespread use of aspirin and the potential clinical impact of the link to melanoma, patients and health care providers need to be aware of the possibility of increased risk for men,” said senior study author Dr. Beatrice Nardone, research assistant professor of dermatology
“This does not mean men should stop aspirin therapy to lower the risk of heart attack,” she stressed.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.