It is possible that aspirin may protect women from the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

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Researchers in the US observed 59,806 women aged 50 to 79 for an average of 12 years. The results found that those who took more aspirin were less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer. Overall, aspirin users were 21% less at risk than non-users.

"Aspirin works by reducing inflammation and this may be why using aspirin may lower your risk of developing melanoma," said study leader Dr. Jean Tang, from Stanford University School of Medicine.

“The results justified a bigger clinical trial to see whether aspirin can be taken to prevent the disease,” she added.

Each year around 13,000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK and 2,200 die from the disease. The research formed part of the Women's Health Initiative, a major US investigation into links between lifestyle and disease.

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