Link Between Chronic Aspirin Use and Malignant Melanoma

by Dr. Michael Contreras

Daily aspirin use has been associated with increased risk of melanoma as reported by researchers at Northwestern University in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.   This study will require additional clinical research to confirm and elaborate on the reported increased risk of melanoma.

The study followed patients without a previous history of melanoma who took daily aspirin (81 or 325mg) for greater than 1 year and compared their development of melanoma over the course of 5 years to a control group that did not take aspirin.

Results showed that men who took daily aspirin for greater than 1 year had 1.8 times (nearly double) the risk of developing melanoma than men who did not take chronic daily aspirin. Interestingly, women taking aspirin did not show an increased risk of melanoma.

https://www.dermatologyadvisor.com/skin-cancer/melanoma-chronic-aspirin-use-possible-association/article/762328/

Nearly 50% of U.S. adults take daily aspirin.  Many are advised by their physicians to take daily aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer.  At this point it is important that patients advised by their physician to take daily aspirin continue to do so.

However, male patients taking daily aspirin should be made aware of the potential increased risk of melanoma, practice regular skin self-exams (https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/detect), and have yearly skin checks by a board-certified Dermatologist.  Even more frequent skin checks are recommended in certain situations such as having a previous history of skin cancer.

If the link between aspirin and melanoma is upheld by future research aspirin will join other known and well-established factors for this aggressive type of skin cancer.  Risk factors for melanoma include:

  1. Sun exposure (especially blistering sunburns in childhood, but also daily routine exposure)
  2. Tanning bed use (associated with 75% increased risk of melanoma)
  3. Moles (> 100 moles and/or history of atypical “dysplastic” moles) – a recent study showed that if you have > 11 moles on one arm you are likely to have > 100 moles on your entire body, translating to increased risk of melanoma.
  4. Skin types with fair skin and light eyes
  5. Personal history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers (basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma)
  6. Weakened immune system
  7. Family history of melanoma (especially first-degree relatives: mother, father, sibling, child). First-degree family members have a 50% increased risk of developing melanoma.
  8. Genetic susceptibility (“familial melanoma syndrome”)

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma

While those with risk factors for skin cancer should be especially vigilant everyone should be on the lookout for abnormal changes in their skin.  The warning signs of melanoma often can be discovered by remembering your ABCDEs.

  1. Asymmetry – if you visually draw a line through the middle of the mole the two sides do not match
  2. Border irregularity (notched, jagged borders)
  3. Color irregularity (uneven color or multiple colors)
  4. Diameter (greater than the size of a pencil eraser)
  5. Evolving (lesions changing in size, shape, or color, or symptoms like itching, bleeding, crusting)

It is important to catch all skin cancers early.  If you take daily aspirin or have any other risk factors as described above it is especially important is to establish care with a board-certified Dermatologist.  The AboutSkin medical providers are all board-certified Dermatology physicians adept at screening and treating skin cancer with offices in Lone Tree and Greenwood Village.

Denver's Best Dermatologists

American Academy of Dermatology American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
Dr. Joel Cohen

Dr. Joel Cohen

As director of AboutSkin Dermatology, the nationally renowned Dr. Cohen oversees the practice.

Dr. Samantha Stoler

Dr. Samantha Stoler

Dr. Stoler has provided medical and surgical services at AboutSkin Dermatology since 2011.

Dr. Stephen C. Ho

Dr. Stephen Ho

Dr. Ho joined AboutSkin Dermatology in 2012, and provides medical and surgical services.

Dr. Scott Walter

Dr. Scott Walter

With AboutSkin Dermatology since 2017, Dr. Walter provides medical and surgical services.

Dr. Jade Fettig

Dr. Jade Fettig

Dr. Fettig came to AboutSkin in 2019 after completing her Boston University residency.

Brooke E. Rothstein, MD,

Dr. Brooke Rothstein

Dr.Brooke E. Rothstein has joined AboutSkin Dermatology after graduating from Tufts University.

Dr. Joel Cohen

Dr. Joel Cohen

Read More

As director of AboutSkin Dermatology, the nationally renowned Dr. Cohen oversees the practice.

Dr. Samantha Stoler

Dr. Samantha Stoler

Read More

Dr. Stoler has provided medical and surgical services at AboutSkin Dermatology since 2011.

Dr. Stephen C. Ho

Dr. Stephen Ho

Read More

Dr. Ho joined AboutSkin Dermatology in 2012, and provides medical and surgical services.

Dr. Scott Walter

Dr. Scott Walter

Read More

With AboutSkin Dermatology since 2017, Dr. Walter provides medical and surgical services.

Dr. Jade Fettig

Dr. Jade Fettig

Read More

Dr. Fettig came to AboutSkin in 2019 after completing her Boston University residency.

Brooke E. Rothstein, MD,

Dr. Brooke Rothstein

Read More

Dr.Brooke E. Rothstein has joined AboutSkin Dermatology after graduating from Tufts University.

Patient Testimonials

This office is WONDERFUL. Dr. Cohen is literally world famous and totally down to earth, and teaches folks all over the globe about skin cancer surgery, botox, restylane, juvederm...

Google Review

— M.S

Before & After Photos

Before & After Photos

Television APPEARANCES

Denver CBS Denver The Doctors 2 Colorados News

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA


Stay up to date on the latest AboutSkin Dermatology & DermSurgery, PC happenings by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

CONTACT OUR OFFICE

security code

GREENWOOD VILLAGE OFFICE


MAIN OFFICE

5340 South Quebec St.,
Ste. 300
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

South Entrance

Monday-Friday: 8am – 5pm

Phone No.: (303) 756-7546

Fax: (303) 756-7547

AboutSkin Dermatology & Derm Surgery

SKY RIDGE MEDICAL CENTER


10099 Ridge Gate Parkway, Ste. 490
Lone Tree, CO 80124
Conifer Building

West Parking Lot

Monday-Friday: 8am – 5pm

Phone No.: (303) 756-7546

Fax: (303) 799-4696