- There was a weak and inconsistent inverse association between aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; non-aspirin) use in the year before baseline and the incidence of keratinocyte cancers (KC) (namely, basal cell carcinoma [BCC] and squamous cell carcinoma [SCC]) in the next 3 years, suggesting a limited role of NSAIDs for KC.
Why this matters
- Recent meta-analyses of observational studies and randomised controlled trials have suggested a potential benefit of NSAIDs in reducing BCC and SCC incidence, but there is substantial heterogeneity in studies.
- This study included 34,630 participants using data from the QSkin Sun and Health Study.
- The association between NSAIDs (aspirin and non-aspirin) and BCC and SCC was evaluated in high- (with a history of skin cancer excisions or >5 actinic lesions treated) and low-risk (without a history of skin cancer excision and ≤5 actinic lesions treated) participants.
- Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
- Over a median follow-up of 3 years, 3421 (10%) and 1470 (4%) participants developed ≥1 BCC and SCC, respectively.
- After adjustment for confounders, infrequent (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.83-1.01) and frequent (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.99) non-aspirin NSAID use was associated with reduced risk for BCC vs never use in the high-risk group but not with SCC.
- Infrequent aspirin use was associated with reduced risk for SCC (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.64-0.93), but there was no significant association between frequent aspirin use and the risk for SCC (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.87-1.31).
- No significant association between aspirin use and risk for BCC was observed.
- In the low-risk group, no significant association was observed between aspirin or non-aspirin NSAID use and the risk for BCC or SCC.
- Study did not obtain data on the dose and duration of NSAID use.
- Self-reported NSAID use led to misclassification.