The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Aspirin Prevent Melanoma?

Aspirin is not just for headaches any more. A new study suggests that women who take aspirin regularly are less likely to develop melanoma, a potentially life-threatening form of skin cancer.

The study included nearly 60,000 volunteers in the Women’s Health Initiative. They were at least 50 but under 79 years of age when the study started, and it lasted for 12 years. The volunteers answered questions about diet, medication and lifestyle when the study began, and the answers were analyzed in light of who developed melanoma.

Women who took a standard dose of aspirin at least twice weekly were 21 percent less likely to get this diagnosis. The longer they used the pain reliever, the stronger the protective effect. Other medicines such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen were not associated with a reduced risk of melanoma.

Aspirin use has already been linked to a lower likelihood of many other cancers, including those of the breast, lung, colon, esophagus and stomach. This study did not prove that aspirin prevents melanoma because proof would require an expensive, large randomized trial. Nonetheless, the evidence is highly suggestive and confirms an anti-cancer effect seen in dozens of other studies.

[Cancer, online March 11, 2013]

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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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What if I have a history of ulcers and I already take both Tylenol and Aleve for some severe back pain. Can I/should I take aspirin as well?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: This question needs an answer from a doctor who knows you and your medical history. With a history of ulcers, you would usually be told to avoid aspirin and Aleve both.

Suzee, be careful of Xarelto. I took it for less than two months and now 15 months off it still suffer from severe muscle aches and pains.
It is a blood thinner and I am using vitamin E, Gingko Biloba, nattokinase and cayenne instead. My family Dr. has assured me my blood flow is great. The Cardiologist isn’t happy that I won’t try any other meds.
No problems with this protocol. I also take K1 and K2 and it doesn’t seem to affect my flow. Does great things for my skin though.

I took aspirin for ten years, but stopped a few months ago when xarelto was prescribed for a-fib. Can I take both?

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