Coffee Lowers Chance That Colon Cancer Will Return
Drinking four cups of coffee a day can lower the chance of colon cancer returning, concludes new research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is one of the first to analyze an association between coffee consumption and colon cancer recurrence.
For the study, nearly 1,000 patients completed questionnaires on their dietary patterns before, during, and a year after being treated for stage III colon cancer. All patients were treated with either surgery or chemotherapy. In general, these types of colon cancer patients have a 35 percent chance of recurrence.
Researchers found that the greatest benefit came from drinking at least four cups of caffeinated coffee a day. People who drank this much were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return compared to non-coffee drinkers and 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or other causes. Two to three cups of coffee brought a more modest benefit, and one cup or less warranted little protection.
Researchers believe the benefits come from the caffeine and not the other components in coffee, but they are not sure why. One idea is that caffeine increases the body’s response to insulin, which can help reduce inflammation. More research is needed before coffee is recommended to colon cancer patients.