AUG 18, 2015 10:39 AM PDT

Colon Cancer Patients Can Benefit From Drinking Caffeine

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Yesterday, scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts made a novel connection between drinking coffee and reduced risk of returning colon cancer.

Almost 1,000 patients were involved in the study, and all had received chemotherapy treatment for stage III colon cancer. To reduce bias, scientists involved in the study questioned the patients on their coffee-drinking habits during chemotherapy and again a year later, when they recorded which patients had remained cancer-free and which had not.


In general, coffee-drinkers were at a “lower risk of the cancer coming back and a significantly greater survival and chance of a cure,” lead researcher Charles Fuchs reported. The best results came from individuals who claimed to drink four or more cups of coffee per day. Those who drank only two or three cups had less significant benefits, and those drinking one or less had almost no protection from cancer return associated with them.

According to the study, four or more cups of coffee contain about 460 milligrams of caffeine. The researchers were quick to specify that the potential benefits came strictly from the caffeine as opposed to other components of coffee. Although Fuchs says the patients receiving treatment for stage III colon cancer have a 35% chance of the cancer recurring, he does not recommend colon cancer patients who do not drink coffee to begin the habit in order to ward off cancer recurrence.

Fuchs’ hesitance is explained further by cancer researcher Dr. Alfred Neugut in an interview with the New York Times: “Think about it – people who drink a lot of coffee tend to be high stress, high pressure, intense and compulsive.” The Columbia University professor says that “if they have cancer, they’re going to be more obsessive about following all the rules and doing all the things they’re supposed to do. So it may be that coffee itself is playing a physiological role, but it may also be a surrogate marker for you being a compulsive health-conscious good behaver.”

Although some of the details may be fuzzy, there is no denying that this study was the first of its kind, making a connection between coffee drinking and the return of colon cancer after chemotherapy treatments. More studies must be and will be done in order to pinpoint the direct explanation of the correlation found in this study, but it will not be surprising if caffeine proves to be a direct player in cancer health. Currently, caffeine is known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, risk factors of which are also apparent in colon cancer patients.

Fuchs summarizes the present significance of the study’s results like this:  “If you’re a coffee drinker and enjoy your coffee, stick with it.”
 
In the video below, Dr. Josh Axe describes in broader detail the pros and cons of coffee drinking.



Source: Science Daily
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 18, 2021
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Not as Promising as Hoped for PTSD
MAR 18, 2021
Cannabis Not as Promising as Hoped for PTSD
Medical marijuana is used fairly routinely as a treatment for veterans suffering with PTSD (post traumatic stress syndro ...
MAR 30, 2021
Cardiology
Looking at a Fertility Drug's Cardiac Safety
MAR 30, 2021
Looking at a Fertility Drug's Cardiac Safety
New drugs go through a long and arduous process before they can grace a doctor’s office. One of the last steps is ...
MAR 30, 2021
Microbiology
A Marburg Virus Treatment Approach is Identified
MAR 30, 2021
A Marburg Virus Treatment Approach is Identified
Marburg virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever; its fatality ratio can be as high as 88 percent. Researchers may have now ...
MAR 29, 2021
Cardiology
Learning More About How Stress Breaks the Heart
MAR 29, 2021
Learning More About How Stress Breaks the Heart
Scientists are learning more about what causes a real phenomenon known as broken heart syndrome, or stress-related cardi ...
APR 19, 2021
Microbiology
Gas-Generating Microbes Highlight the Diet - Microbiome Link
APR 19, 2021
Gas-Generating Microbes Highlight the Diet - Microbiome Link
Researchers are learning more about how different species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome play a role in metabol ...
APR 20, 2021
Cardiology
How Low Can You Go? Diastolic Blood Pressure Standards May Change
APR 20, 2021
How Low Can You Go? Diastolic Blood Pressure Standards May Change
Blood pressure readings are a standard part of even the most basic health checks. Now some researchers are suggesting th ...
Loading Comments...