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Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
coffee, tea, melanoma, whi, skin cancer, caffeine
Cutaneous melanoma accounts for less than 5% of all skin cancers but over 75% of skin cancer related deaths. Prior biologic research suggests caffeine may arrest cancer cell formation and metastasis in vivo. Additionally, certain tea components exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and other anti-carcinogenic effects. Prior epidemiologic studies show possible protective effect of both coffee and tea on risk of melanoma, but results remain inconsistent. We examined the association between coffee and tea intake and risk of cutaneous melanoma using the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Coffee and tea intake were measured through self-administered questionnaires. Melanomas were self-reported and physician adjudicated. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate associations. Of the 66,484 white post-menopausal women with no prior history of cancer (average follow up=7.8 years), 73% reported daily intake of coffee, 26% reported daily tea intake, and 398 cases of melanoma were adjudicated. Daily coffee intake (HR=0.84 95% CI=0.66-1.08) and daily tea intake (HR=1.00, 95% CI=0.78-1.29) were not significantly associated with increased risk of cutaneous melanoma compared to non-daily intake. No significant trend was observed with increased daily coffee (p-trend=0.22) or tea intake (p-trend=0.28). In conclusion, we observed insignificant inverse associations between coffee intake and cutaneous melanoma among post-menopausal Caucasian women.
Susan R Sturgeon
Katherine W. Reeves