05/13/2015 17:03 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 01:12 EDT

Study: Vitamin B3 may help prevent recurrence of common skin cancers in people at high risk

For the first time, a large study suggests that a vitamin might modestly lower the risk of the most common types of skin cancer in people with a history of these relatively harmless but troublesome growths.Researchers in Australia found that people who took nicotinamide ((nih-kuh-TEE'-nuh-myd), a form of vitamin B3, for a year had a 23 per cent lower rate of new skin cancers compared to others who took dummy pills.More than 3 million of these growths, usually basal and squamous cell cancers, are diagnosed each year in the United States. They are much less deadly than melanoma, a more serious type.Study results were released Wednesday and will be discussed at a cancer conference later this month.