Those obsessed with tanning, like Patricia Krentcil and the cast of ‘Jersey Shore,’ may have little to fear in terms of skin cancer provided they take an aspirin a day, says a new report published in the health journal Cancer.

Researchers in Denmark and the US found that people taking common painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen were much less likely to develop skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

In the trial, researchers reviewed all cancer cases in the Danish Cancer Registry from 1991 to 2009 and compared it against a database that showed patients’ use of drugs that reduce inflammation or pain.

What they found was startling. Over the course of the study, patients who took painkillers had a 13% lower risk of melanoma and a 15% lower chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma.

What’s more, the study found that anticancer benefits increased dramatically the longer people took the drugs. In particular, long-term use led a 46% lower risk of melanoma, a 35% lower risk of squamous cell carcinoma and a 17% lower risk of basal cell carcinoma.

Although the findings are exciting, scientists point out that more research is necessary to clarify the results. In the meantime, sunscreen, protective clothing and avoiding the sun during peak hours are still the best ways to reduce the risk of cancer, they say.


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