Breast Cancer and Coffee
A 2018 study that combines results from 21 different previous studies examining the coffee consumption of postmenopausal women reports an association between coffee consumption and a reduced occurrence of breast cancer. Seven researchers from three European countries have put together this study to understand the cancer preventative nature of one of the world’s most popular beverages.
Breast Cancer and Coffee – Pre and Post Menopause
Breast cancer is the most widely occurring cancer among women. Although the survivorship rates are much higher today than they were 20 years ago, the absolute number of women affected is still large. With prevention of cancer being one of the best ways to reduce the overall burden of cancer on society and health budgets this study is useful because it studies a drink that is widely consumed. The researchers found that although the effect was not discernable for women premenopause, for those who had gone beyond menopause, drinking four cups of coffee a day was associated with a 10% lower risk of breast cancer.
The study looked at an association between breast cancer and the quantity of coffee consumed. Although ‘association’ does not imply ‘cause’, it is encouraging for researchers to study any causal relationship in future studies. It also puts to bed any fears about coffee being associated with increased cancer risk, thus helping dispel any misinformation in the public about this beverage.
Because Eating Greens and Exercising is not Fun for Everyone
Green leafy vegetables and exercise are not typically the most popular of lifestyle choices that people make to reduce the risk of having cancer. So, the possible follow-on advice from this study, to drink coffee, is one that can be more easily implemented. With a habit of drinking coffee being consciously associated with reducing the risk of breast cancer, it might increase awareness for other lifestyle choices that women make towards reducing the risk of cancer of all kinds.
Extending in Other Directions
Although the study looked specifically at breast cancer it may well be extendable to other forms of cancer, and perhaps to men too. Further investigations would be needed, of course, to confirm these. In the meanwhile, do not hold back on that cup of coffee. As long as you do not go overboard and do not drink too much caffeine in the latter half of the day, you may be helping your future self with this very popular drink.
Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.
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