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Int J Cancer. 2012 Jun 15;130(12):2939-48. doi: 10.1002/ijc.26286. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of basal cell carcinoma in the United States Radiologic Technologists study.

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  • 1Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-7238, USA.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with reduced risk of colorectal and other cancers, but the association with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is unclear. Previous epidemiological studies have been small in size, conducted in especially vulnerable populations, or have not accounted for solar ultraviolet exposure, a major risk factor for BCC. In the United States Radiologic Technologists cohort, we followed subjects to assess NSAID use on risk of first incident BCC. We included Caucasian participants who responded to both second and third questionnaires (administered from 1994 to 1998 and 2003 to 2005, respectively), and who reported no cancer at the time of the second questionnaire, N = 58,213. BCC, constituent risk factors (e.g., eye color, complexion, hair color) and sun exposure history were assessed through self-administered survey. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Of the 58,213 people in the study population, 2,291 went on to develop BCC. Any NSAID use was not associated with subsequent incidence of BCC (HR = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.92-1.16) after adjusting for age, sex and estimated lifetime summer sun exposure. Neither association was observed when stratified by NSAID type (aspirin and other NSAIDs), nor did dose-response patterns emerge by frequency of use (average days per month). Further analyses did not reveal interaction with sex, birth cohort, smoking, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, occupational radiation exposure or personal risk factors for BCC. In this large nationwide study, we observed no association between NSAID use and subsequent BCC risk.

Copyright © 2011 UICC.

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