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Coffee May Cut Your Risk for Common Form of Skin Cancer
Date:7/2/2012

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Yet another report points to the possible health benefits of caffeine, whether it comes in coffee, tea, cola or even chocolate.

A study published July 1 in the journal Cancer Research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee could lower the chances of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. The study also found that caffeinated tea, cola and chocolate also appears to reduce risk.

Women in the study who drank more than three cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 21 percent less likely to develop the disease than women who drank less than one cup per month. Among men, the risk reduction was 10 percent.

"It's the caffeine that's most likely responsible for the beneficial effect," said study co-author Jiali Han, an associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston. "Caffeine inhibits tumor progression. We saw the effect in mice and thought we should do this research to see if it applies to humans, too."

Han said that it's likely that the more you drink, the lower the risk of basal cell cancer. But he's cautious about recommending coffee for everyone. "I'm not going to say we need to promote coffee based on this research, but this is just one more addition to the list of ways coffee has been associated with positive health benefits," he said.

The new research adds to a range of recent studies that have shown that coffee may protect against some illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, heart failure, Parkinson's disease, liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver, and that it might improve exercise performance.

Basal cell skin cancer begins in the outer layer of skin and is usually found on areas of the body exposed to the sun. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, about 2 million people a year are treated for basal cell carcinoma, which r
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