BCC accounts for nearly 90 percent of all skin cancers. Basal cells are cells that line the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). An abnormal growth of cells in this deep layer is known as BCC. Although BCC can usually be diagnosed with a simple biopsy, has a low rate of metastasis and is fairly easy to treat when detected early, 5-10 percent of BCCs may be resistant to treatment. BCC may invade bone and cartilage, and if not treated appropriately and early, it may be very difficult to eliminate.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring compound found in the leaves, seeds or fruits of more than 60 plants, including coffee beans, cacao beans, kola nuts, guarana berries and tea leaves (including yerba mate and green tea). Caffeine is consumed regularly in the United States and throughout the world, as it is found in many beverages, including coffee, chocolate, some energy drinks and tea. Medicinally, caffeine may be useful as a cardiac stimulant and to increase urine flow. Caffeine has been shown to affect mood, stamina, the cerebral vascular system, and gastric and colonic activity.
In a new study, researchers analyzed data on 22,786 BCC cases, 1,953 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cases and 741 melanoma cases from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study to assess the potential relationship between skin cancer risk and caffeine consumption.
The researchers found that men and women with the highest daily caffeine intake from any source had a 13 percent and 18 percent reduced risk of BCC, respectively, when compared to those with the lowest intake. Furthermore, women who consumed more than three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 21 percent reduced risk of BCC when compared to those who drank less than one cup. Men who drank over three cups had a 10 percent reduced risk. The authors noted that significant associations between caffeine intake and SCC or melanoma were lacking.
The authors concluded that drinking caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk for developing BCC. Additional research is needed to further evaluate these findings.
For more information about integrative therapies for skin cancer, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.
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