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NSAIDs Won't Shield Against Skin Cancer
Date:2/15/2010

Researchers find anti-inflammatories show no effect on squamous cell carcinoma

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Countering prior indications that long-term use of NSAID painkillers might help reduce cancer risk, a new study suggests that these anti-inflammatory drugs offer no protection against a common skin cancer.

Previous research had suggested that routine use of NSAIDs -- including such over-the counter medications as Advil, Motrin, aspirin, Celebrex and Aleve (but not Tylenol) -- is associated with a reduced risk for the onset of colorectal, breast, prostate and lung cancer.

"Although there is some prior evidence, mostly laboratory-based, to suggest that NSAIDs can reduce the risk for the particular type of skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, in our study, we didn't find that association," said the lead author, Dr. Maryam M. Asgari, an investigator in the research division at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) in Oakland, Calif.

The study, which was supported by the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, are published in the Feb. 15 online issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

To explore the potential connection between NSAIDs and skin cancer risk, Asgari and her colleagues administered questionnaires to a randomly selected pool of 415 patients between the ages of 43 and 85 who were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2004 and sought care at KPNC.

This group's self-reported NSAID-use history between 1994 and 2004 was stacked up against that of a group of 415 healthy patients. Both groups were similar in terms of age, race and gender. As well, records detailing pharmacy-dispensed NSAID patterns among all the patients were also examined for links to skin cancer incidence.

The authors noted that 61 percent of all the patients reported routine use of NSAIDs in the decade preced
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