Coffee consumption associated with decreased risk for basal cell carcinoma

October 24, 2011, American Association for Cancer Research

Caffeine could be related to an inverse association between basal cell carcinoma risk and consumption of coffee, a study found.

The prospective study, presented at the 10th AACR International Conference on Frontiers in , held Oct. 22-25, 2011, examined the risks of (BCC), (SCC) and melanoma in connection with coffee consumption and found a decreased risk for BCC only.

"Given the nearly 1 million new cases of BCC diagnosed each year in the United States, daily dietary factors with even small protective effects may have great public health impact," said researcher Fengju Song, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "Our study indicates that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent BCC."

Data were taken from the Nurses' (Brigham and Women's Hospital) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (Harvard School of Public Health). In the Nurses' Health Study, 72,921 participants were followed from June 1984 to June 2008. In the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, 39,976 participants were followed from June 1986 to June 2008.

The researchers reported 25,480 incident cases. Of those, 22,786 were BCC, 1,953 were SCC, and 741 were melanoma.

Song and colleagues reported that women who consumed more than three cups of coffee per day had a 20 percent reduction in risk for BCC, and men who consumed more than three cups per day had a nine percent risk reduction compared with people who consumed less than one cup per month.

The amount of coffee consumption was inversely associated with BCC risk. Those in the highest quintile had the lowest risk, with an 18 percent reduction for women and a 13 percent reduction for men.

Song and colleagues were surprised by the inverse connection in BCC cases only. Animal studies have suggested an association between and skin cancer risk, but epidemiologic studies have not conclusively shown the same results, they said.

"Mouse studies have shown that oral or topical caffeine promotes elimination of UV-damaged keratinocytes via apoptosis (programmed cell death) and markedly reduces subsequent SCC development," Song said. "However, in our cohort analysis, we did not find any inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk for SCC."

Song said that additional studies specifically addressing the association between and BCC and the mechanism behind this association are warranted.

Explore further: Vitamin D levels appear to be associated with risk of skin cancer, although relationship is complex

Related Stories

Vitamin D levels appear to be associated with risk of skin cancer, although relationship is complex

August 15, 2011
As an individual's level of vitamin D increases, the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) seems to increase as well, although factors such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure may complicate the relationship, according ...

Coffee may reduce risk of lethal prostate cancer in men

May 17, 2011
Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. What's more, the lower risk was ...

Increased caffeinated coffee consumption associated with decreased risk of depression in women

September 26, 2011
The risk of depression appears to decrease for women with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee, according to a report in the September 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Recommended for you

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

Presurgical targeted therapy delays relapse of high-risk stage 3 melanoma

January 17, 2018
A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a six-fold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage 3 disease, researchers at ...

Dulling cancer therapy's double-edged sword

January 17, 2018
Researchers have discovered that killing cancer cells can actually have the unintended effect of fueling the proliferation of residual, living cancer cells, ultimately leading to aggressive tumor progression.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.