A huge piece of health news has added further weight to the argument that coffee may be a food cure. Researchers found that caffeine could be at the heart of a reduced risk for basal cell carcinoma risk due to consumption of coffee.
The prospective study examined the risks of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma in connection with coffee consumption and found a decreased risk for basal cell carcinoma only.
There are nearly one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed each year in the United States. Small dietary factors that could help protect against it can have great public health impact. In this case, it’s java.
Data were taken from the huge Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which included 73,000 and 40,000 participants, respectively. The researchers reported 25,480 incident skin cancer cases. Of those, 22,786 were basal cell carcinoma, 1,953 were squamous cell carcinoma, and 741 were melanoma.
Researchers reported that women who consumed more than three cups of coffee per day had a 20% reduction in risk for basal cell carcinoma compared to those who drank less than a cup a month. Men also had a reduced risk, but it was smaller, at nine percent.
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The researchers describe the results as “surprising.” They said that more studies specifically addressing the association between coffee consumption and basal cell carcinoma and how it works.
Few know that basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Three-quarters of all skin cancer consist of basal cell carcinoma. It begins in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis, growing slowly and painlessly. Most happen on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation.
Keep watch for certain symptoms:
— A skin bump or growth that is waxy, white, light pink, or flesh-colored
— A slightly raised bump or even a flat growth that changes color
— A skin sore that bleeds easily
— A sore that does not heal
— Oozing or crusting spots in a sore
— Appearance of a scar-like sore without having injured the area
— Irregular blood vessels in or around the spot
— A sore with a sunken area in the middle
Presentation, 10th AACR International Conference on
Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, Oct. 22-25, 2011.