Coffee Consumption May Reduce Malignant Melanoma Risk

Pharmacy Times, May 2015 Skin & Eye Health, Volume 81, Issue 5

Whereas previous research indicated that coffee consumption may protect against nonmelanoma skin cancers, a recent study suggested that drinking coffee could decrease a patient's risk of developing malignant melanoma as well.

Whereas previous research indicated that coffee consumption may protect against nonmelanoma skin cancers, a recent study suggested that drinking coffee could decrease a patient’s risk of developing malignant melanoma, as well. The study, published in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, analyzed data from a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire taken by 447,357 non-Hispanic white patients, all of whom were cancer-free when the questionnaire was administered in 1995 and 1996.

After adjusting their results to account for ambient residential ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure, body mass index, age, sex, physical activity, alcohol intake, and smoking history, the research team found that those who consumed at least 4 cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of malignant melanoma compared with those who did not drink coffee. This decreased risk, however, was deemed statistically significant just for caffeinated coffee. Coffee consumption was not associated with greater levels of protection against melanoma in situ.

The study authors acknowledged that their findings were preliminary and may not be applicable to other populations. Nevertheless, they concluded that “lifestyle modifications with even modest protective effects may have a meaningful impact on melanoma morbidity.”