If you drink caffeinated coffee daily, it may be doing more than keeping you awake. Women who drink over three cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma—the most common form of skin cancer—compared to women who imbibe less than one cup of coffee in a month, according to a study scheduled for presentation this week at an American Association for Cancer Research International Conference in Boston. Because decaffeinated coffee didn’t have the same effect, researchers believe caffeine is providing the protection. Robert S. Kirsner, MD, professor and vice chairman of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the findings “could open a new avenue of developing chemo-prevention for non-melanoma skin cancer.” However, if you’re not already a java junkie, Kirsner doesn't advise starting to drink coffee solely to prevent skin cancer.
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