October 25/Washington/Times of India -- Good news for the coffee buffs, especially women drinkers: consuming copious amounts of the beverage daily may help reduce the risk of the most common type of skin cancer, a new study has claimed.

Researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that women who drank over three cups of coffee daily were 20% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a slow-growing form of skin cancer, than those who drank less than one cup a month.

However, men who drank same amount of the beverage saw only a 9% reduction in the disease, found the study.

BCC rarely spread to other parts of the body and rarely return if they are promptly removed. However, any apparent health benefit that is found to come from diet is a plus, the researchers said.

"Given the nearly one million new cases of BCC diagnosed each year in the U.S., daily dietary factors with even small protective effects may have great public health impact," study researcher Fengju Song said.

The study, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Boston, found an association, not a direct cause-effect link.

Further research is needed to confirm the findings and investigate how coffee may act to reduce skin cancer risk, the researchers said.

For the latest study, Song and colleagues analyzed data from 112,897 people who were followed from 1984 to June 2008. Over this period, 25,480 cases of skin cancer were documented.

Both coffee and caffeine consumption were linked with a reduced risk of basal cell carcinoma. Decaffeinated coffee was not associated with a reduced risk of skin cancer.

 From the October 25, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.