Women who take aspirin may have a reduced risk of developing melanoma, and the effect may increase the longer women take it, according to observational outcomes from the Women's Health Initiative.
Results were published early online in CANCER.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 60,000 white women ages 50 to 79 years and found that women who took more aspirin had a 21% lower risk of melanoma relative to non-users during 12 years of follow up (95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.98). Each incremental increase in duration of aspirin use (less than one year of use, one to four years of use, and five or more years of use) was associated with an 11% lower risk of melanoma (Ptrend=.01). This translates to women who used aspirin for five or more years having a 30% lower melanoma risk than women who did not use aspirin. Furthermore, women with 5 or more years of use had a 30% lower melanoma risk (95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.94).
Researchers also noted that neither non- ASA NSAID use nor acetaminophen use was associated with melanoma risk. And, this and other studies have found that there was no effect from alternate-day, low-dose aspirin on melanoma risk in post hoc analyses; no effect on total cancer and colorectal cancer incidence or total cancer mortality; and that 75% of the women in this study reported using regular or extra-strength aspirin use and had a longer follow-up period.
The hypothesis-generating findings support the design of a clinical trial to directly test whether aspirin can be taken to prevent melanoma, researchers noted.