No honey, Aspirin is not going to cause skin cancer
Posted Feb 15 2010 1:00pm
Neither for that matter will ibuprofen (AdvilMotrin) or celecoxib (Alleve).
CHICAGO – Contrary to previous hypothesesthe use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs does not appear associated with risk of squamous cell skin canceraccording to a report posted online today that will appear in the April print issue of Archives of Dermatologyone of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirinibuprofen and celecoxib reduce pain and inflammation by blocking an enzyme involved in producing inflammatory compoundsaccording to background information in the article. NSAIDs may also inhibit the development of cancer cells by inducing cells to die and inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels.
Laboratory studies of cells and animals have indicated that NSAIDs protect against squamous cell carcinomascommon types of cancers that appear in the upper layers of the skin. Howeverwhile some studies have examined the associations between NSAIDs and other types of cancers—including colorectalbreastprostate and lung—few have assessed the association between NSAID use and squamous cell carcinoma risk in human populations.
Maryam M. AsgariM.D.M.P.H.of Kaiser Permanente Northern CaliforniaOaklandand colleagues studied 415 health plan members who were diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2004 and 415 control patients who were the same agesex and race but had no history of skin cancer. Participants completed a questionnaire about NSAID use in the 10 years prior.
The majority of participants (61 percent) reported regular use of NSAIDs within the previous ten yearsincluding 48 percent who used aspirin18 percent who used ibuprofen5 percent who used naproxen and 4 percent who used nabumetone.
“Regular use of any NSAID was not associated with a reduction in squamous cell carcinoma risk,” the authors write. “Although NSAID users whose exposure was of short duration (one to three years) appeared to be at somewhat increased risk for squamous cell carcinomawe found no consistent effects of duration of use of any NSAID on squamous cell carcinoma risk.” Squamous cell carcinoma risk also did not appear to change regardless of NSAID dosewhether the medications were administered by a pharmacy nor with any individual type of NSAID medication.
“Given the potential toxic effects of NSAIDsincluding platelet dysfunction and gastric ulcersmore uniformly efficacious chemopreventive agents with safer adverse effect profiles need to be explored,” the authors conclude.