Aspirin May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Research shows dropoff of up to 15%
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2012 4:25 PM CDT
People who took aspirin and similar painkillers had lower rates of skin cancer.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Aspirin and other similar painkillers may ward off skin cancer, according to new research. About 20 years of skin cancer data in Denmark show that people who had taken NSAIDs—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers—were 15% less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 13% less likely to have malignant melanoma, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The longer and more intensively that patients took the drugs, the higher the effect. What's behind the possible cancer prevention? It could be that aspirin and other NSAIDs block two enzymes, Cox-1 and Cox-2, which in turn would curb blood vessel formation and inflammation, both processes known for helping cancers grow. More details at the Times. (Read more skin cancer stories.)

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