July 19/Boston/Harvard Medical School -- Increasing the number of cups of coffee consumed daily could lower the risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer, a new study has claimed, but cautioned that one should not start consuming the beverage excessively based on this finding.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston found that people who drank more cups of caffeinated coffee had a reduced risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer which causes considerable morbidity despite being a slow-grower.

"Our data indicate that the more caffeinated coffee you consume, the lower your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma," said Jiali Han, lead researcher.

For the study Han and his colleagues conducted a prospective analysis of data from two long running study aimed at finding factors that influence people's health. Of the 112,897 participants 22,786 developed basal cell carcinoma during the more than 20 years of follow-up in the two studies.

An inverse association was observed between all coffee consumption and risk of basal cell carcinoma.