Pain Meds May Prevent Melanoma
Do you regularly take prescription pain meds such as Aleve, Naprosin, and Celebrex, possibly because of arthritis or other age-related aches and pains? A surprise added benefit may be that you're less likely to get skin cancer. Although this is not a license to abandon safe sun practices – keep slathering on that sunscreen and wearing your broad-brimmed hats! – it is a glimmer of good news just in time for summer.
The findings were based on a review of prescriptions and did not include over-the-counter NSAIDs such as Advil and Motrin. MedPage Today reports that according to a large Danish study conducted by Sigrun Alba Johannesdottir, BSc, of Aarhus University Hospital and co-authors and published online in Cancer, "People who used common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had a significantly lower risk of melanoma and squamous-cell skin cancer (SCC), and the benefit increased with duration and drug dose."
In addition, although NSAID use was not linked to a reduced risk of basal-cell skin cancer (BCC) overall, it "was associated with a reduced risk of BCC at sites other than the head and neck." The researchers added that "Given the high skin cancer incidence and the widespread and frequent use of NSAIDs, a preventive effect of these agents may have important public health implications."