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Aspirin may protect skin

Tuesday May 29th, 2012

Taking aspirin and ibuprofen may help to protect against skin cancer, it was claimed today.

A new study from Denmark finds a link between taking common pain-killers and reduced rates of melanoma and other kinds of skin cancer.

The study, reported in the journal Cancer, involved nearly 200,000 people.

Researchers analysed medical records to identify people who had received more than two prescriptions for drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen - <!known as>non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

They found that these people had a 13 per cent less risk of developing melanoma than others and a 15 per cent reduced risk of developing another kind of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma.

Other studies have found the drugs seem to protect against other kinds of cancer - but the latest findings may reflect reduced risk for other reasons, such as reduced exposure to sunlight because of chronic illness.

Researcher Sigrún Alba Jóhannesdóttir, of Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, said: "We hope that the potential cancer-protective effect of NSAIDs will inspire more research on skin cancer prevention.

"Also, this potential cancer-protective effect should be taken into account when discussing benefits and harms of NSAID use."

Cancer May 29, 2012; doi:10.1002/cncr.27406

Tags: Cancer | Dermatology | Europe | Pharmaceuticals

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