Cutting Your Skin Cancer Risk with Coffee

In La Jolla

By Nasrin Mani, M.D.

Coffee is constantly being shown to be associated with significant health benefits. Among its recent benefits are lower risk for depression, decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, protection from gout, and lower prostate cancer risk. Now, it seems that coffee may have protective effects against skin cancer.

According to a recent study, women who drank three cups of coffee per day were 18 percent less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. Men who drank more coffee saw a 13 percent reduction in this type of skin cancer. With nearly 1 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed each year, the potential impact of this preventative measure could be huge.

The results are very preliminary. They were reported at an academic conference and have not yet been peer-reviewed for publication. The researchers did not propose a mechanism for the reduction and could not say what, exactly, it was in coffee that led to the reduction.

Some researchers point out that the effect is relatively small, and only seemed correlated to this one common, slow-growing form of skin cancer. The most important factor in reducing skin cancer rates over all remains avoiding sun exposure. Early detection and treatment of skin cancer is the best way to reduce your risk from the disease.

However, this is good news along with the other health benefits of the beverage. Coffee has relatively few proven negative effects. It is not associated with significantly increased blood pressure. Although it leads to transient rises in blood pressure, these increases pass, and coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk of elevated blood pressure. Nor is filtered coffee associated with increases in heart disease or stroke risk. And coffee has not been associated with increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

To learn more about skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, please contact La Jolla Skin and Laser Clinic in San Diego today.

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