Rebekah Walker visits the dermatologist regularly. The 70-year old has had skin cancer five times and is at high risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
"Oh it's really scary, because it can be really, really serious. The ones I've had so far, they can remove really easily," she said.
But the aspirin she takes to combat heart disease may also be lowering her risk of developing melanoma. A new study in the journal Cancer looked at nearly 60,000 women over 50. Researchers found women who used aspirin had a 21-percent lower risk of melanoma. Taking the medication for at least 5 years reduced the risk 30 percent.
"When you reduce inflammation with something like aspirin, that might reduce cancer as well," said Dr. Jashin Wu, with 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.
Taking aspirin can cause other health problems, including bleeding. Dr. Wu, a dermatologist, says more research is needed and urges patients to stick with proven prevention methods. "Things like avoid the sun at peak hours between 10am and 3pm, 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," Dr. Wu said.
Walker is following her doctor's advice, but she's also taking aspirin. "It gives me one more reason to make sure I take my meds," she said.
And she is hoping it keeps her out of the doctor's office.
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>