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Aspirin May Save Skin And Harm Stomach

Q. I’ve been using aspirin to help prevent sunburn for years. I just read that aspirin can reduce the incidence of skin cancer. Is there a connection?
A. A decade ago a German study showed that people who took 250 mg of aspirin prior to sun exposure were less likely to burn (Photochemistry and Photobiology, Oct. 2001).

In 2012, Danish researchers reported on a case-control study showing that people who took aspirin were less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma (Cancer, online May 29, 2012).

Aspirin can have serious side effects, however.

One reader reported:

“I had internal bleeding from a prescribed aspirin regimen. I had no problems for five years taking 81 mg per day. When the bleeding started, I initially thought nothing was wrong. Finally, I could barely move and was taken to the emergency department. My hemoglobin was 7.1, while normal is 11 to 15. I spent a week in the ICU and received several blood transfusions for a bleed in my upper GI tract.”

Taking 100 to 250 mg vitamin C may help protect the digestive tract from aspirin-induced irritation (Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Feb., 2004; Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, Nov. 2006, Suppl. 5). Anyone planning to take aspirin on a regular basis should discuss this with a physician.

5/10/18 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/how-do-you-weigh-the-benefits-and-risks-of-aspirin/

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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