The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world. Thus, 40 percent of the people diagnosed with a tumor develop skin cancer. People with fair skin are most likely to be affected. Nonmelanoma was reported to be the most common type, with more than 2 million people diagnosed every year.
A new study proves that a daily intake of vitamin B3 might slightly diminish the risk of developing this type of cancer, especially with people who have been affected or are at risk of being affected by certain growths.
Experts at the University of Sidney carried out a study which reveals that nicotinamide, which is the amide of vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) could reduce the risk of skin cancer by 23 percent. The dermatologists focused on non-melanoma, especially on basal cell and scuamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell cancers represent 80 percent of nonmelanoma cases. They grow at a slow pace and they rarely spread to other areas. Scuamous cell cancer, which accounts for 20 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers, is more likely to spread. Nevertheless, even if they are both very common, they rarely result in death (0.1 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States).
The study involved almost 400 patients who suffered from at least two skin cancers within the previous five years. They were asked to take vitamin B3 pills two times a day. After three months, it turned out that this daily intake not only diminished the risk of skin cancer re-occurrence but it also repaired the damages in cells and protected the skin from ultraviolet light rays. However, the effects ceased after the treatment was stopped, proving that continuity is necessary. Within the first three months, the pre-cancers rate was reduced by 11 percent and within 9 months by up to 23 percent.
The findings are extremely useful, as they provide an alternative option for those trying to cut down on the costs skin cancer involves. Vitamin B3 is extremely cheap and there has been evidence that it might help reduce the risk of not only skin cancer but also type 1 diabetes, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoarthritis.
Dermatology Professor at the University of Sidney Diona Damian, who is also the lead author of the study, warns that vitamin B3 should only be taken daily by people suffering from frequent skin cancers.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology issued the results of the study on Wednesday, the 13th of May, 2015, before their annual meeting.
Image Source: thetimesgazette