A regular aspirin dose has been shown to combat a number of illnesses for many individuals.

Can we now add melanoma to that list?

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that women who took aspirin on a regular basis reduced their risk of developing this skin cancer, and those who took aspirin longer had even lower risk. The findings were first published in the March 11 edition of Cancer. “There’s a lot of excitement about this because aspirin has already been shown to have protective effects on cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in women,” said Jean Tang, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of dermatology and senior author of the study. “This is one more piece of the prevention puzzle.” From the study: "The Stanford study focused on the data of roughly 60,000 Caucasian women who were selected because less skin pigment is a risk factor for melanoma. The Stanford researchers found that those who took aspirin decreased their risk of developing melanoma by an average of 21 percent. Moreover, the protective effect increased over time: There was an 11 percent risk reduction at one year, a 22 percent risk reduction between one and four years, and as much as a 30 percent risk reduction at five years and beyond." It's still premature to say that aspirin can prevent melanoma. It it not yet known exactly how much aspirin is the ideal dose, and the researchers are still trying to determine potential side effects. However, these initial results are encouraging and worth keeping an eye on.