Coffee Drinkers Less Subjected to Skin Cancer, Say Researchers

American Association for Cancer Research conference announced that daily coffee consumption may help reduce the risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the world’s most common cancer.

A cup of coffee is not only a good start for a new day, but also prevention from the cancer. Photo: MeltedMoments/ Flickr

Basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer and the most spread kind of cancer in the United States. Seventy-five percent of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas says the American Cancer Society.

As a rule, fair-haired people with and green or blue eye under the danger, but the cancer can also manifest itself as a skin sore that bleeds and doesn’t heal, though it rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Fengju Song, PhD, researcher, postdoctoral fellow in dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School For the study, collected data on about 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).

In the studies was cleared out that over more than 20 years of follow-up, more than 25,000 cases of skin cancer met among the men and women. Of these, about 23,000 were basal cell carcinoma, about 2,000 were squamous cell cancer and 741 were melanoma.

The research shows that women who drank more than three cups per day of coffee have a 20 per cent lower risk of getting basal cell carcinoma, than those who drank less than a cup per month.

As for men, those who drank the same amount saw a 9 per cent lower risk of this kind of cancer.

“The amount of caffeine consumption was inversely associated with risk,” Song said.”The more coffee consumed, the lower the risk of skin cancer.”

This method of preventing the cancer can work only when caffeinated joe is used. Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffee does not have any effect on skin cancer risk, which leads researchers to think the key ingredient is caffeine. The study authors are also surprised with the fact that coffee does not reduce the risk of two other types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and the) melanoma (less common but potentially deadly.

“It is likely that caffeine has a protective effect,” Song says. “BCC risk was inversely associated with caffeine.”

“If you’re a coffee drinker and you’re at risk for BCC, then I think this a reason not to change your behavior,” Dr. Robert S. Kirsner, vice chairman of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said. “This should go into the equation of good versus bad when it comes to coffee and your own risks.”

Nevertheless, Kirsner doesn’t advise non-coffee drinkers starting to drink coffee solely to prevent skin cancer. Other experts agreed with him cautioning that the “coffee”-research is very preliminary.

But the experts advise some alternative ways for prevention basal cell carcinoma:

“This is yet another study that says there is some benefit in terms of skin cancer for drinking caffeinated beverages,” says Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD, associate professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington. “And if you do so, it is another reason to enjoy them. But it is a pretty small effect compared to known things, like getting a cancer detected and cut out early, avoiding sunburns, etc.”

Additional studies were held during which was found that people who spend a lot of time in the sun are more likely than others to develop skin cancer.

“We think that sun exposure in childhood and acute exposure, as opposed to prolonged exposure – so a blistering sunburn – are the biggest factors,” Kirsner said. “This study, which suggests that there’s something in adulthood that you can do to diminish the risk from childhood, is exciting.” [Via The Australian News, Web MD and AOL Healthy Living]

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