Regular coffee consumption has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. And now, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, regular coffee consumption may also help prevent the recurrence of colon cancer and improve the chances of a cure.
The study followed 953 patients from the Institute who were undergoing chemotherapy as a result of a stage three colon cancer diagnosis. During the treatments and six months after chemotherapy, patients reported on their food consumption habits; this included coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated) and non-herbal tea intake. Researchers evaluated the effects these beverages had on cancer recurrence and death.
Their findings revealed that coffee consumption had significant beneficial effects. Patients who consumed four cups of coffee per day, compared to those who abstained from coffee, had a 42% reduced risk of colon cancer recurrence and were more likely to survive the disease.
There were no improvements or beneficial effects for patients who consumed non-herbal teas and decaffeinated coffee.
While these results are promising, researchers are still trying to understanding the significant role coffee or caffeine plays in reducing risk. According to the study’s lead researcher, Charles Fuchs, “If you are a coffee drinker and are being treated for colon cancer, don’t stop. But if you’re not a coffee drinker and wondering whether to start, you should first discuss it with your physician.”
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Drinking coffee daily may improve survival in colon cancer patients,” ScienceDaily web site, August 17, 2015; www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150817161201.htm.
Guercio, B.J., et al., “Coffee Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality in Stage III Colon Cancer: Results from CALGB 89803 (Alliance),” Journal of Clinical Oncology 2015, doi: 10.1200/jco.2015.61.5062.