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Coffee May Fight Melanoma, the Deadly Skin Cancer

I am a veteran coffee drinker and I am always pleased to see new research on its health benefits. But this news is especially good to hear.

New research says coffee may help protect us from melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer. For many of us this means we can feel good about sipping coffee sitting on the patio in the morning sun. Breakfast outside and coffee are two of my favorite morning things. The U.S. is known for its consumption of coffee and more than half of the population drinks at least three cups a day.

I have been known to brew double strength coffee in my filtered pot and then manage to make extra cups that still practically stand alone. I am not sure how these strong brews would fit in this research, but it sounds like the researchers are pushing us toward more coffee consumption. In the past the reverse was true with negative coffee questions popping up. But more recently researchers say coffee may help lower the risk of death from liver cirrhosis and the chance of type 2 diabetes.

Now brand new research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests coffee may reduce the chance of malignant melanoma and that number goes up with each cup. Four or more cups works out to be a 20 percent risk reduction. There are nearly 10,000 deaths from melanoma in the U.S. every year. Previous research had already shown coffee can protect against the less deadly forms of skin cancer. Melanoma that is not caught early can spread rapidly through the body making it extremely deadly. The seriousness of the disease motivated the researchers to take their previous coffee research further.

So the National Institute of Health and Yale University launched an AARP study of some 450,000 members. They started with questionnaires in 1995 and finished the study ten years later. During that time, almost 3,000 members of the group ran into melanoma.The study group participants were free of cancer at the beginning and information on alcohol, smoking, age, sex, activity levels and ultraviolet radiation exposure (a major risk factor) were considered in the research.

The researchers reported the people who consumed the most coffee daily came up with the lowest risk of melanoma. They also pointed out the study results were for caffeinated, but not decaffeinated coffee.
As always if you have additional questions about skin cancer and its risks see your doctor first.

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