Commonly prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) lower risk around 15%
According to a large Danish cohort study commonly prescribed NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen taken for years especially in high dosages have a considerably lower risk for squamous-cell cancer (SCC) and malignant melanoma the most deadly kind of skin cancer.
For this study Sigrun Alba Johannesdoittr, lead author and associates examined the medical records of 18,000 participants in Denmark and calculated each individual record to find out how many participants had been prescribed NSAIDs over an eight year time span. The participants all had been diagnosed with one of three types of skin cancer; basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and the deadliest type of skin cancer malignant melanoma.
Also, researchers had identified similar use of medications that may increase a person’s risk for skin cancer such as immunosuppressant’s and other disease or other pathologic process that occurs simultaneously with another that predisposed an individual to an increased cancer risk such as autoimmune disorders that are also linked to higher NASAIDs use, that researchers had taken into account during their analysis.
The study had found that those participants that were more frequently prescribed NSAIDs had less risk to have skin cancer. Those with over two prescriptions for NSAIDs had a 15% lower risk for developing squamous cell cancer and a 13% decreased risk for developing malignant melanoma.
The higher the dosage and longer time the person had been on NSAIDs, the more they had a protective effect.
However, NSAIDs did not seem to reduce the overall risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common and least aggressive form of skin cancer but NSAIDs were demonstrated to reduce the risk of basal cell carcinoma of forming on other parts on the body besides the head and neck.
Dr. Maryam M. Asguri, MD, MPH, research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research related to Reuters Health she does not think she would recommend to people “Hey take an aspirin to prevent skin cancer.” “The most important prevention against skin cancer remains sun protection.”
This study has been published today in the journal Cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute numerous studies have suggested that NSAIDs such as aspirin may hold promise to preventing cancer. NSAIDs block the COX (cyclooxygenase) enzymes which are produced by the body when there is inflammation and also by precancerous tissues.
Currently the CDC recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
More information on skin cancer can be found online at the CDC