Drinking more coffee could lower the risk of basal cell carcinoma, the commonest form of skin cancer, according to a new study.
"Our data indicate that the more caffeinated coffee you consume, the lower your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma (BCC)," said Jiali Han, associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
"I would not recommend increasing your coffee intake based on these data alone. However, our results add basal cell carcinoma to a list of conditions for which risk is decreased with increasing coffee consumption," said Han, the journal Cancer Research, reported.
Even though BCC is slow-growing, it places a burden on health care systems. Though the cancer rarely kills, it can cause significant destruction and disfigurement by invading surrounding tissues.
"Given the large number of newly diagnosed cases, daily dietary changes having any protective effect may have an impact on public health," said Han, according to a university statement.
Of the 112,897 participants included in the analyses, 22,786 developed basal cell carcinoma during the more than 20 years of follow-up in the two studies.
"These results really suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption," said Han.