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Can coffee prevent skin cancer?

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New Findings published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute suggest that it might.

According to researchers at the Yale School of Public Health, coffee consumption could decrease an individual’s chances of developing malignant melanoma. As the study is not a clinical trial, no cause and effect relationship can be assumed. However, the results do show a link between increased coffee consumption and decreased melanoma risk.

Malignant melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer; in 2012, of the 2,036 people who died from skin cancer in Australia, 1,515 of these deaths resulted from melanoma. Although not all melanomas are deadly, malignant melanoma is the leading cause of skin-cancer deaths in the United States and Australia. This correlation is worth investigating.

According to Erikka Loftfield, a doctoral student at Yale University School of Public Health and a fellow at the National Cancer Institute, people who drink four or more cups of coffee per day have a 20% decreased risk of developing malignant melanoma, and those who consume one to three cups were 10% less likely to develop melanoma than who did not consume any coffee at all.

The link was made after the study observed 447,357 retirees for a period of approximately 10.5 years. Of those who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day, there were 55.9 cases of melanoma out of 100,000 people yearly, compared to those who did not drink any coffee, where there were 77.64 out of 100,000 yearly cases of malignant melanoma. Other factors such as smoking history, alcohol consumption, the level of sunlight in participants’ hometowns, body mass index, age, sex and exercise were also considered.

According to the researchers, coffee could prevent damage to skin cells by assuaging the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Coffee’s prevention of DNA damage and the detoxification of carcinogens are just a few of the suggestions made by researchers attempting to explain the link. Solid evidence of which components within coffee could be having these effects on peoples’ skin have yet to be established.

However, Loftfield warned that the results did not indicate that people should alter their coffee intake and that coffee consumption is not a replacement for sensible sun protection.

It is crucial to protect your skin with clothing and a protective hat, apply SPF 30+ sunscreen regularly and avoid sun exposure during the hottest part of the day (when UV rays are at their highest). SunDoctors are experts in skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and education.

Book your skin cancer check with a doctor today!

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