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Drinking coffee may cut risk of skin cancer


BEIJING, Otc. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The more coffee people consume, the less likely they develop the most common form of skin cancer, a new study suggests, according to media reports Tuesday.

"Our study indicates that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent basal cell carcinoma," stated Fengju Song, lead researcher of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is reported to be a slow-growing form of skin cancer that accounts for 75 percent of all skin cancers. It is the most common type of skin cancer, with nearly one million new cases diagnosed each year in the United States.

Although BCC is hardly fatal, if ignored, there may be consequences of treatment, including disfigurement, according to a USA Today report.

The US researchers found that women who drank over three cups of coffee a day were 20 percent less likely to develop BCC, whereas the risk of having BCC for men who consumed more than three cups per day lowered 9 percent.

To get the findings, the researchers analysed data from almost113,000 people between1984-2008 and over 23,000 were diagnosed with BCC.

The researchers agreed that caffeinated coffee was associated with BCC risk reduction, but decaffeinated coffee did not have such effect.

According to a Fox News report, besides cutting the risk of skin cancer, coffee consumption has also been found to lower the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer and cancer overall.

"To the best of our knowledge, coffee consumption is a healthy habit," said Fengju Song, cited by the Fox News.

The findings were presented Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research International Conference in Boston and not yet published in a scientific journal.

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