March 2, 2009
Skin cancer affects more than a million people in the United States every year. The risk of developing skin cancer increases with exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation - a form of energy in sunlight that is generally beneficial for health but, at high levels, can damage cells. And with increasing recreational sun activities, tanning-bed use, and the loss of the ozone layer, the incidence of these skin cancers is expected to go up.

New research shows that one promising therapy could be the ingredient found in America's daily indulgence: caffeine.

In 2007, an epidemiological study uncovered an interesting link between consumption of coffee and rates of skin cancer: For every cup of caffeinated coffee consumed by Caucasian women, there was a 5 percent decrease in risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer, the kind in which unpigmented cells on the skin's surface turn cancerous and spread into nearby normal tissue.

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