A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown that coffee drinkers have another reason to celebrate! Coffee may decrease the risk of neck and head cancers.
In this study, scientists looked at the results of nine previous cancer/caffeine studies (using coffee and tea) to come up with their findings. Results show that those who drink a lot of joe have a lower rate of head and neck cancer. In each of the pooled studies the participants with cancer were compared to healthy persons in the general populations and hospitalized persons who did not have cancer. Overall the rate of cancer was 12% lower in people who drank coffee as compared to their no-joe counterparts. This number comes after taking into account certain other factors such as cigarette smoking.
The more you drink, the better! The study found that those who consumed more than four cups a day had their risk of cancer reduced by more than a third.
For cancer of the voice box, or larynx, coffee didn’t seem to play a role; nor did tea or decaffeinated coffee for any type of head and neck cancer.
The data does not conclusively prove that coffee itself protects against cancer. There could be other factors associated with coffee drinking that explain the lower cancer risk, or cancer sufferers might have decreased their coffee intake for some reason. “Besides caffeine, coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals,” the researchers reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, adding that the compounds cafestol and kahweol may be protective against carcinogens that would normally damage our genes.
The odds of getting this type of cancer are slim. In the U.S., only about 1 in 10,000 develops the disease every year.
SOURCE: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/ Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, June 22, 2010