Aspirin and other NSAID Pain Relievers might reduce Skin Cancer

aspirin - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - A study from Denmark found that squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma might be reduced when a person takes aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen on a regular basis. The reduction was seen when patients filled at least two prescriptions for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They had a 15 percent decreased risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 13 percent decreased risk for developing malignant melanoma. The study results were published online in CANCER, which is a journal of the American Cancer Society.

Sigrún Alba Jóhannesdóttir, BSc, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark along with colleagues investigated medical records from northern Denmark from 1991 through 2009. They found 1,974 diagnoses of squamous cell carcinoma, 13,316 diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma, and 3,242 diagnoses of malignant melanoma. They also compared information from 178,655 individuals that did not have skin cancer and compared this against their prescriptions. They were looking for prescription of two or more refills of an NSAID.

The researchers found that those who had taken the NSAIDs for seven or more years and at a high intensity seemed to have had a reduced skin cancer risk. Basal cell carcinoma skin cancer did not have an overall reduced risk from taking NSAIDs. However, those that took NSAIDs for long term and high intensity did have a reduction in Basal cell carcinoma by 15 - 21 percent on areas that were less exposed.

"We hope that the potential cancer-protective effect of NSAIDs will inspire more research on skin cancer prevention," said Ms. Jóhannesdóttir. "Also, this potential cancer-protective effect should be taken into account when discussing benefits and harms of NSAID use."

Taking aspirin or other NSAIDs on a regular basis should be discussed with a professional medical doctor. Other risks of taking the NSAIDs may outweigh the possible skin cancer benefit.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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