Professor David Whiteman and team from Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) have found that regular intake of aspirin had a reduced number of sunspots which are precursors to skin cancer. The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Aspirin is a cyto-oxygenase (COX) enzyme inhibitor, which suppresses the activity of this enzyme and its expression. The COX gene is gene coded which is important for the growth of blood vessels. Angiogenesis or new blood vessel is formed in cancer conditions in which there is an increased amount of blood vessels, which leads to increased supply of blood for the continuous and indiscriminate growth of cancer cells. COX enzyme is increased in cancer conditions and leads to increased angiogenesis. Aspirin had been found to inhibit the expression of the gene COX leading to down expression of COX enzymes leading to hindering the growth of cancer cells.
Researchers surveyed and compared 273 people with skin cancer to age matched 187 healthy persons for their sun spots with the differences in the use of aspirin/ Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Researchers found a significant difference in skin cancer incidence between people who took aspirin and who did not took it. Results showed that people who took aspirin have fewer incidences for skin cancer. People who took aspirin for more than five years twice a week had 63% lower risk of skin cancer and 90% reduction in skin cancer risk in people who took aspirin daily.