A new study published recently in JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute) showed that people who drank four or more cups of coffee daily were 20% less likely to develop malignant melanoma than non-coffee drinkers. Malignant melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer death in the United States.
The study found that there were 55.9 cases of melanoma yearly per 100,000 people among those participants who drank at least four cups of coffee a day, vs. 77.6 cases per 100,000 non-coffee drinkers. The findings apply specifically to caffeinated coffee, not decaf, which could be significant or due to chance.
Of course, the best way to prevent skin cancer remains avoiding sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation, said a fellow at the institute. She does mention that this and other studies should provide reassurance that drinking coffee is not a risky thing to do.