Men who take aspirin daily may have double the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, according to a study. Published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the study found that women, however, were not at an increased risk of melanoma due to aspirin use.
"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 Beatrice Nardone, an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the US. Nardone suggested increasing patient education about sun exposure, avoiding tanning beds and getting skin checks by a dermatologist, particularly for individuals who are already at high risk for skin cancers.
"This does not mean men should stop aspirin therapy to lower the risk of heart attack," she said. The finding is surprising because aspirin is reported to reduce risk of gastric, colon, prostate and breast cancer, Nordone said. One reason men may be more vulnerable could be related to males (human and animal species) expressing a lower amount of protective enzymes, like superoxide dismutase and catalase, compared to females, she said.
"These lower levels of protective enzymes suggest that a higher level of resulting oxidative cellular damage in men might contribute to the possibility of developing melanoma," said Nardone. PTI