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Daily Coffee Consumption May Help Prevent Skin Cancer Risk

Daily coffee consumption may reduce your risk of developing a type of skin cancer, a new research suggests.

"Our study shows that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent basal cell carcinoma. The amount of caffeine consumption was inversely associated with risk, meaning the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk of skin cancer," said lead researcher Fengju Song, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for 75 percent of all skin cancer cases. Although basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal. But, it may cause the developing of other cancers if left untreated.

For the study, Song's team collected data on nearly 113,000 adults -- almost 73,000 women who took part in the U.S. Nurses' Health Study and almost 40,000 men who were part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Over more than 20 years of follow-up, more than 25,000 cases of skin cancer were diagnosed among the men and women in the studies. Of these, about 23,000 were basal cell carcinoma, about 2,000 were squamous cell cancer and 741 were melanoma.

The researchers found that women who drank more than three cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of basal cell carcinoma, compared to women who drank less than one cup of coffee in a month. For men who drank three cups of coffee daily had 9 percent lower risk of skin cancer.

“People who exposed to high levels of sunlight are more likely to develop skin cancer, but the role of coffee in the prevention is still not understood. Further study is needed to explore the mechanisms behind this association,” said Song.

The study presented at an American Association for Cancer Research International Conference in Boston should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.