A cup of coffee a day could keep the doctor away. More specifically, it could protect men from skin cancer, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer and backed by a number of different researchers.
Coffee: The Newest Skin Cancer Antidote
In this recent study, researchers from Imperial College London analyzed more than 500,000 people to see whether or not there were any connections between coffee and cancer prevention (of any type). While many conclusions were vague, researchers did identify one pretty clear trend: men who regularly drink caffeinated coffee are 70 percent less likely to develop melanoma in their lifetime than those who do not.
Researchers have concluded that caffeine contains compounds that, when orally ingested, block some of the negative effects of UVB radiation. The compounds, which essentially act as natural sunscreen, may also kill off damaged cells that could become cancerous.
Interestingly, women were not shown to have a reduced risk of melanoma. The reasons for this are unclear at this point.
This study isn’t the first to identify a correlation between coffee and a reduced risk of skin cancer. A series of 2012 studies revealed a positive trend in both men and women.
Other Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in the world; fortunately, it’s highly preventable. By understanding the various risk factors and doing everything you can to protect your skin, you can greatly reduce your chances of having melanoma. Other than drinking coffee, here are a few other smart tips:
- Wear the right protection. Most people don’t think about wearing sun protection unless they’re spending the day outside. The problem is that your skin is exposed to sun on a daily basis. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher as part of your morning routine. If you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is preferred.
- Seek shade. On days when you’ll be outside, shade is your friend. If you’re out on the lake, make sure your boat has an adequate shade cover. If you spend a lot of time in the backyard, make sure there are plenty of shaded areas.
- Avoid tanning beds. Sitting in a tanning bed is essentially asking for skin cancer. This sort of tanning exposes you to two types of UV rays – both UVA and UVB – which are known to cause cancer. Young people should definitely avoid tanning beds, as those who begin tanning in adolescence have a higher risk of getting melanoma in adulthood.
- Check yourself regularly. Finally, make sure you check yourself regularly. When detected early, melanoma can almost always be successfully treated. Use a full-length mirror and look for signs of new skin growth in the form of moles, freckles, and skin tags. If you notice something abnormal, immediately set up an appointment with your dermatologist.
If you do these four things – in addition to drinking coffee, perhaps – you could face a much lower risk of melanoma than the general population.
Adopt Smart Habits
As if you needed another reason to drink coffee, it appears that there’s a positive correlation between coffee consumption and reduced risk of melanoma. But cancer prevention doesn’t stop with your dietary habits.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and you need to treat it with the care and respect that it deserves. Understand what risk factors you face and do everything possible to protect yourself from melanoma, both now and in the future.