Previous studies on coffee and prostate cancer have found neither increased nor decreased risk. The new JNCI study is unique in that it focused on the advanced form of the disease and is the largest to date.
This study tracked almost 48,000 U.S. men who reported how much coffee they drank every four years from 1986 to 2008. During the study period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal cases.
For all forms of prostate cancer, the study found that men who consumed six or more cups of coffee daily had nearly a 20 percent lower risk than non-drinkers. When focusing only on the deadly form of prostate cancer, the protective association was even stronger. Men who drank the most coffee had a 60 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Stories on coffee and cancer have been around a long time. First, starting in the early 1980s, researchers began investigating if coffee increased our risk of pancreatic cancer. Now, after a lot of research, evidence suggests that coffee does not increase risk for the majority of cancers with some studies suggesting it offers protection.
The latest study on coffee and cancer points toward the protection side. The Swedish study suggests that drinking plenty of coffee every day may lower the risk of ER-negative breast cancer, a form of breast cancer difficult to treat.
Today is National Coffee Day and what better day to highlight some innovative cancer research in the plant compound that gives coffee its kick: caffeine.
Research now shows that coffee has no effect or may even lower the risk of some cancers. Caffeine may play a role. Read the current issue of Cancer Research Update to see how a neuroscientist is investigating how caffeine may fight cancer from spreading to the brain.
The research is preliminary, but interesting.
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American Institute for Cancer Research
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