NSAIDs Protect Against Skin Cancer

Craig A. Elmets, MD

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Comment

This evidence confirms the findings of epidemiologic studies showing that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs protect against skin cancer and two interventional studies showing such an effect with COX-2 inhibitors. The costs and morbidity associated with surgical treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and melanoma pose a serious problem. These cancers are among the few with a rising incidence. The use of NSAIDs, many of which are inexpensive and available over-the-counter, for prevention of NMSC and melanoma is attractive, and could have major public health implications, but it is best to wait for more studies before we recommend them. Which NSAIDs are most effective and free of adverse effects and at what dosages is unknown.

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