Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are by far the most common type of cancer. They are rarely lethal, but the surgery or radiation required to treat them can be deforming, painful, and expensive. More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer yearly. Sun exposure is a primary risk factor, so people living in California are especially susceptible.
A recent Australian study, presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, revealed a 25% reduction in the incidence of basal and squamous cell cancers in patients taking niacinamide, 500 mg twice a day.
Niacinamide is a form of niacin, or vitamin B3, that does not cause itching or flushing of the skin. Benefits in skin cancer reduction were seen within the first 3 months of treatment. The benefit was lost when niacinamide was discontinued. In addition, niacinamide reduced the incidence of actinic keratosis, a precancerous lesion, by 15%.
If you have had skin cancer or actinic keratosis, are fair-skinned or spend a lot of time in the sun, consider taking niacinamide 500 mg twice a day, indefinitely. There are no side effects.
Allan Sosin, MD