Tag Archives: coffee drinking and melanoma

Drinking coffee reduces chances of melanoma – REALLY

Recently the media gushed that coffee may reduce your risk for deadly melanoma skin cancer as if this was a fact and that it will enable you sleep easy at night – especially if you drink as much coffee as possible every day….Nobody can really take this seriously…only unscientific news networks will make a big deal of this.

Yet, as reported in TIME magazine January 19, 2015, Health briefing Page 22, most cancer is out of our control because random DNA changes are usually to blame. Melanoma is just such a cancer.  So how can any epidemiological study about coffee consumption have any relevance to random DNA changes in skin cells? And that’s the problem with epidemiological studies – they show coincidence – not cause. These are not clinical tests. They use existing data, get a super computer to churn the data, and spit out all the coincidences that are present in the data. The epidemiological studies don’t tell you how many of those coffee drinkers also wore sunscreen every day (and it should always be a mineral sunscreen)…nor whether there was a history of cancer in their family. What one also has to look at is who paid for the study and report?  perhaps the coffee industry? perhaps some large international marketing companies who sell instant coffee by the ton through Costco and other mass retailers?

The TIME magazine article quotes the scientific study done at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine….quite a different approach to the coincidence approach of epidemiological studies…and way more believable. Sure there are cancers that are greatly influenced by an individual’s lifestyle choices – like lung cancer and smoking, but the vast majority of cancers are outside of our control…

Skewing facts to suit a marketing message is not new – marketers have been doing it for decades.  You need to be 1 step ahead of them by not allowing yourself to be swayed by any type of epidemiological study. To understand more of how they do this skewing of facts, I really recommend that you watch a funny (yet serious) video by the comedian Tom Naughton. The video is about the food industry, but you can very easily interchange food and cosmetics…