A recent study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, has found that people who drink more than four cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of developing malignant melanoma than non-coffee drinkers.
The team of researchers, headed by Erikka Loftfield of the National Cancer Institute in the US, followed 447,357 participants for about 10½ years. They found that when compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drank the most coffee (at least 4 cups/day) had a 20% lower risk of malignant melanoma. This effect was not observed for early-stage melanoma, known as melanoma in situ, which suggests that different melanoma stages may have different causes, or that coffee consumption has an inhibitory role on disease progression.
While the study established that caffeinated coffee intake inhibited malignant melanoma, the researchers also tested the effect of decaffeinated coffee intake, which was found to be negligible.
Loftfield’s team concluded that “because of its high disease burden, lifestyle modifications with even modest protective effects may have a meaningful impact on melanoma morbidity”.
On average, 1,300 Australians die from melanoma each year, and around 30 people are diagnosed every day. For more information on the disease, visit the Melanoma Institute Australia website.