A new study published in Cancer Research has revealed that drinking coffee may help prevent basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer reports Yahoo News.
According to the study, women who drank more than three cups of coffee a day were 21 percent less likely to develop the cancer known as BCC than those who drank one or fewer cups of coffee containing caffeine a month. The study reported a 10 percent reduction for men.
The study emphasized that people who drank decaffeinated coffee didn’t receive the same benefits, claiming that there were no effects on the risks of cancer. This led researchers to believe that the caffeine ingredient was the key behind reducing skin cancer risks.
“Most likely, the protective effect is due to caffeine,” said Jiali Han, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
Han says that the study only pertains to risks associated with BCC for now, but other types of skin cancer may be a possibility in the future.
“In another 10 years or more, it may be clearer whether caffeine also helps stave off these other types of skin cancer,” Han said referring to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma.
However, doctors do caution readers that this the study is not conclusive and only shows an association between the two and not a direct cause and effect relationship. They also say that this is certainly not a substitution for sunscreen, nor is it an excuse to spend more time in the sun.
Live Science writes:
“I would hope that people would not decide to spend a lot more time in the sun because they are drinking coffee,” said Lorelei Mucci, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study. “There is a lot more about the prevention of BCC that we need to understand,” Mucci said.
Doctors are encouraged by the findings and hope that this is just the beginning in the relationship between caffeine and reduced skin cancer risks.
What do you think of these new findings indicating that coffee and caffeine may reduce the risks of skin cancer?