Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

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.


First Advisor

Susan R Sturgeon

Second Advisor

Katherine W. Reeves

Included in

Epidemiology Commons