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Coffee Linked to Reduced Risk of Common Skin Cancer

People who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk

Are you pondering that third cup of joe? Go ahead!

According to a new study, coffee has been linked to a decreased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

Man sipping coffee may reduce risk of skin cancer

Drinking coffee can cut skin cancer risk. — Photo by Hill Street Studios/Corbis

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The study was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, researchers compiled data from two different studies: the Nurses' Health Study, which followed nearly 73,000 people between 1984 and 2008; and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which followed nearly 40,000 people between 1986 and 2008. The results of both studies were surprising.

Women who drank more than three cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing the skin cancer than those who drank less than a cup per month. Men who drank the same amount had a 9 percent lower risk.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a non-melanoma form of skin cancer. Seventy-five percent of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas, according to the America Cancer Society.

“Given the nearly one million new cases of BCC diagnosed each year in the United States, daily dietary factors with even small protective effects may have great public health impact,” said researcher Fengju Song, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “Our study indicates that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent BCC. "

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