Coffee reduces the risk of skin cancer

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Prevent skin cancer by consuming coffee

In August, scientists from Rudgers University in the state of New Jersey (USA) reported in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS) that coffee, applied to the skin, significantly reduces the risk of skin cancer. In a further extensive study, US researchers have now been able to confirm this statement with regard to coffee enjoyment.

Regular coffee consumption reduces the risk of skin cancer by up to 20 percent, with women in particular benefiting from the protective effect, said study author, Fengju Song, a PhD student in the Department of Dermatology at Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School. When the results of the study were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR) tenth international cancer prevention conference, the US scientists reported that the hot beverage containing caffeine had a clear cancer-preventing effect.

Basal cell carcinomas most common skin cancer diseases As part of their comprehensive investigation, the US scientists evaluated the results of two clinical studies that had observed the relationship between the occurrence of so-called basal cell carcinomas and coffee consumption in tens of thousands of volunteers over a period of 14 or 16 years. Basal cell carcinomas, which are mainly caused by UV radiation, are the most common form of skin cancer diseases, but they grow relatively slowly and are far less fatal than black skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Nevertheless, the health risks of basal cell carcinoma should not be underestimated and effective prevention could save numerous people from this particularly common form of skin cancer. With around one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma occurring each year in the United States alone, a relatively low protective effect of coffee could have a far-reaching effect on public health, Fengju Song reported at the AACR's "10th International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research".

Coffee consumption lowers the risk of skin cancer According to the current study, the risk of skin cancer decreases continuously with increasing coffee consumption. The more cups of coffee the study participants drank every day, the less likely they became to have basal cell carcinoma, Fengju Song explained. According to the US researcher, the effect is significantly more important for women than for men. For example, men who consume at least three cups of coffee a day have a nine percent lower risk of skin cancer than people who drink less than one cup of coffee a day. In women, consuming three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of basal cell carcinoma by as much as 20 percent. However, the cancer-preventing effect was not found in decaffeinated coffee, which suggests that the protective effect comes from the caffeine, the US researchers said. The current study clearly shows "that coffee consumption can be an important option in the prevention of basal cell carcinoma", emphasized Fengju Song.

Does coffee generally prevent cancer? While coffee has been largely assessed as harmful to health in the past, as the famous canon by Karl Gottlieb Hering "C-a-f-f-e-e, do not drink so much coffee!" Illustrates, there are currently studies that prove the positive effect of the caffeinated hot beverage on health. For example, US researchers had already discovered that caffeine had a cancer-preventive effect in August, and a group of Chinese researchers came to the conclusion in a further study that the overall cancer risk decreases with increasing coffee enjoyment. The Chinese scientists reported that moderate coffee drinkers were 11 percent less likely to get cancer than people who don't drink coffee. According to the Chinese scientists, regular coffee consumers were 13 percent less likely to get cancer, and heavy coffee drinkers were 18 percent less. As part of their research, the researchers evaluated 59 existing studies that analyzed the relationship between coffee consumption and various types of cancer, such as breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia. In the future, coffee could not only make a name for itself as a stimulant, but also play a growing role in cancer prevention, the experts explained. (fp)

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Image: Peter Freitag /

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