The coffee cure that’ll have you scratching your head… Fight off skin cancer with a couple cups of joe!

When did the beach turn into a refugee camp?

Time was, all you needed for a day of fun and sun was a towel, a six-pack and a ball to toss around. These days, the beach has become a tent city, full of pop-up “cabanas” and other portable shelters, making it seem like the Red Cross is taking in victims who’ve fled a natural disaster.

What they’re really fleeing, of course, is the sun. Today’s Chicken Littles will tell you the sky is falling - that the sun causes cancer and you need to avoid it as much as possible.

Why they even bother going to the beach at all is beyond me.

But you don’t have to hide from the sun to protect yourself from the deadliest form of skin cancer. In fact, you NEED sunlight to fight the disease - so plan that beach vacation for this summer.

And on your way to the beach, pick up the only “beach accessory” you really need: A giant mug of frosty iced coffee.

Coffee is one of the best sources of caffeine, a proven cancer-fighter, and it’s packed with disease-beating antioxidants. As a result, new research finds drinking caffeinated coffee will slash your risk of melanoma.

That’s not just any old skin cancer. Melanoma is the less common and far more deadly form of the disease - but if you guzzle four cups a day, your risk of melanoma will plunge by 20 percent, according to a recent study out of Yale University.

Too much coffee for you? Don’t worry. Even a cup or two a will cut your risk by a healthy 10 percent.

To get even more protection, head outside - because sunlight can PREVENT deadly melanoma, not cause it. Even the CDC’s own numbers show lower rates of melanoma in sunny Texas, Arizona and Hawaii and HIGHER rates of the disease in places with eternal winters like Montana and Minnesota.

If sun caused cancer, wouldn’t it be the other way around?

Too much sun might increase the risk of the other, less serious forms of skin cancer, which can be easily treated with a quick outpatient procedure. But there are two ways you can prevent even that.

First, keep drinking your java - because a study a few years back found it can also cut the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer by 10 percent. And if you REALLY like coffee, six cups a day will slash that risk by nearly a third.

And second, use the only “sunscreen” I recommend: common sense. Enjoy your time under the sun, but seek shade - or at least put on a hat and shirt - when you skin starts to turn pink.