More good news for coffee drinkers! A number of studies have found that coffee drinking is protective against breast cancer (coffee inhibits the growth of tumors), but now research finds it is also protective against breast cancer recurring. The beneficial effects are seen with 2 or more cups of coffee per day. Other studies have found that lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise) are linked to lower rates of recurrence, but apparently coffee drinking can also be added to the list. This research found that not only is coffee drinking linked to smaller tumors in the first place, but it is also linked to lower rates of recurrence in women also taking tamoxifen. The researchers said: "In summary, this study shows inhibitory effects by caffeine and caffeic acid on breast cancer cell growth." Both caffeine and caffeic acid are present in coffee. From Science Daily:
A number of research studies have shown that coffee helps to protect against breast cancer. A new study led by Lund University, has confirmed that coffee inhibits the growth of tumors and reduces the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with the drug tamoxifen.
The study, which is a follow-up of the results the researchers obtained two years ago, was carried out at Lund University and Skåne University Hospital, in collaboration with researchers in the UK. "Now, unlike in the previous study, we have combined information about the patients' lifestyle and clinical data from 1090 breast cancer patients with studies on breast cancer cells. The study shows that among the over 500 women treated with tamoxifen, those who had drunk at least two cups of coffee a day had only half the risk of recurrence of those who drank less coffee or none at all," explain researchers Ann Rosendahl and Helena Jernström, who obtained the results in collaboration with Jeff Holly and his research team at University of Bristol.
"The study also shows that those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day had smaller tumors and a lower proportion of hormone-dependent tumors. We saw that this was already the case at the time of diagnosis."
In the cell study, the researchers looked more closely at two substances that usually occur in the coffee drunk in Sweden -- caffeine and caffeic acid.
"The breast cancer cells reacted to these substances, especially caffeine, with reduced cell division and increased cell death, especially in combination with tamoxifen. This shows that these substances have an effect on the breast cancer cells and turn off signalling pathways that the cancer cells require to grow.