Aspirin and other related drugs could fight against skin cancer; Research


Researchers have found that Aspirin and other related drugs may help in reduction of skin cancer.

This research has been published online in May 29 issue of Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society.

Researchers studied medical records from northern Denmark from 1991 through 2009, finding 3,242 diagnoses of malignant melanoma, i.e. the deadliest form of skin cancer, along with 1,974 diagnoses of squamous cell carcinoma, and 13,316 diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma. The researchers also worked on prescription data from those patients and information from 178,655 people without skin cancer.

Researchers found that not only Aspirin but other similar anti-inflammatory painkillers like Ibuprofen and Naproxen could also reduce the chances of three major types of skin cancer. They found that more than two prescriptions of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) resulted in 15% reduced chances of getting squamous cell carcinoma and 13% reduced chances of getting malignant melanoma than those who filled two or less prescriptions for the said medications. The results are stronger for prescriptions taken for seven or more years or taken at high intensity. It has been found that there are 15% and 21% reduced risk of developing basal cell carcinoma on less-exposed sites, when taken for long time or at high intensity, respectively.

“We hope that the potential cancer-protective effect of NSAIDs will inspire more research on skin cancer prevention,” said study researcher Sigrún Alba Jóhannesdóttir of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. “Also, this potential cancer-protective effect should be taken into account when discussing benefits and harms of NSAID use.”


Sigrun Alba Johannesdottir BSc, Ellen T. Chang ScD, Frank Mehnert MSc, Morten Schmidt BSc, Anne Braae Olesen MD, PhD, Henrik Toft Sørensen MD, PhD, DMSci, (2012). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of skin cancer; A population-based case-control study. Cancer, DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27406

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