WJTV News Channel 12 - Melanoma Risk & Common Pain Medications

Melanoma Risk & Common Pain Medications

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Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and rates have been increasing in recent years.

Now new research shows a common pain reliever may help women reduce their chances of developing it.

Melanoma is one of three types of skin cancer.

Its symptoms can include moles that change color or size, and those that have irregular borders.

Researchers at Stanford University looked at nearly 60,000 post-menopausal, Caucasian women for 12 years.

The study found women who used aspirin had a 21 percent lower risk of melanoma.

Women who used aspirin for five years or longer had a 30 percent lower risk.

Taking aspirin can cause other health problems, including bleeding.

Dermatologists say more research is needed, and encourage patients to stick with proven prevention methods.

"Things like avoid the sun at peak hours between 10:00am and 3:00pm, they can wear hats, long sleeves, and sun screen of SPF of at least 30 and when they're outside in the sun, they should reapply it every two hours," said Dr. Jashin Wu, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

The study also looked at other pain medications such as acetaminophen and found those drugs did not lower a woman's risk of melanoma.

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