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Skin Care News: Coffee May Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

Posted by floriza in Skin Care

A new study indicates that skin cancer risk may be reduced by drinking caffeinated coffee every day. Skin care professionals and oncologists do not necessarily recommend the consumption of a lot of caffeine as a way of avoiding skin cancer, however. The study was conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and presented in Boston at the American Association for Cancer Research.

Female study participants were 20 percent less likely to develop skin cancer if they drank more than three cups of coffee every day than women who drank less than one cup of coffee per month. For men, the percentage was lower. There was a nine percent reduction for men who drank more than three cups of coffee per day.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the records of nearly 113,000 people from 1984 to 2008. Out of that number, 25,480 people were diagnosed with skin cancer.

Risk Lower for Only One Type of Skin Cancer

The lowered risk was not for all types of skin cancer. Coffee consumption only seemed to affect basal cell carcinoma, which is the type of skin cancer that is easiest to treat and almost never grows beyond the initial spot. Melanoma, which is the sometimes life-threatening form of skin cancer that spreads to other parts of the body, was not affected by coffee consumption.

It is important to note that the skin care/skin cancer study did not definitively determine that drinking coffee will prevent basal cell carcinoma. It simply appears from the research that those who drink a lot of coffee have a lowered risk of developing the cancer.

Decaffeinated coffee did not have the same effect, so it appears that caffeine is the substance that reduces the risk. From similar studies conducted on animals, researchers believe that caffeine helps the body rid itself of sun-damaged skin cells. This does not mean that drinking coffee provides enough protection that an individual can risk sun exposure without wearing sunscreen, however.

Caffeine has also been found to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.

What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. About two million Americans are diagnosed with it annually. The sun’s rays are the usual cause, so the areas of skin that are generally affected are those that are exposed to the sun. Only rarely do areas of the body that remain covered in the sun develop this type of skin cancer. Proper skin care in New Jersey and elsewhere is necessary to prevent overexposure in the sun.


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