We Are Sunshine

Does Coffee Lower Skin Cancer Risk?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The mass media this week picked up on a new report suggesting that drinking coffee lowers the risk of some types of skin cancer — a small correlation with no clear mechanism that gained an inordinate amount of press.

“That refreshing glass of iced coffee or iced tea might do more than cool you off in the summer heat,” WebMD reported. “A new study of nearly 113,000 men and women found a link between those who took in the most caffeine and a lower risk of the most common type of skin cancer.”

Most major networks ran the report. But why?

“Coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry with billion-dollar players, as is Sun-Scare,” Smart Tan Executive Director Joseph Levy said. “What better way to promote both industries, regardless of how weak the science is. In a way, it’s a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with how the mass media is looking at the skin cancer issue. Correlation does not equal causation, and weak correlation without a mechanism doesn’t deserve worldwide headlines.”

To read the WebMD report click here.