Drinking Coffee May Improve Colon Cancer Survival Outcomes
Drinking coffee whether regular or decaffeinated may extend survival time in people with colorectal cancer, a new JAMA Oncology study suggests.
Researchers studied 1,171 patients diagnosed with advanced or metastatic colon or rectal cancer who could not be treated with surgery. The patients completed diet and lifestyle questionnaires, including information about their coffee consumption, at the start the study.
Compared with people who drank none, those who drank a cup a day had an 11 percent increased rate of overall survival, and a 5 percent increased rate of living progression-free. The more coffee they drank, the better. Those who drank four or more cups a day had a 36 percent increased rate of overall survival and a 22 percent increased rate of surviving without their disease getting worse. Whether the coffee was decaf or regular made little difference.
The findings enabled researchers to establish an association, but not a cause-and-effect relationship, between coffee drinking and reduced risk of cancer progression and death among study participants. As a result, the study doesn’t provide sufficient grounds for recommending, at this point, that people with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer start drinking coffee on a daily basis or increase their consumption of the drink, researchers say.
“It’s known that several compounds in coffee have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other properties that may be active against cancer,” says Dana-Farber’s Chen Yuan, the co-first author of the study with Christopher Mackintosh of the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. “Epidemiological studies have found that higher coffee intake was associated with improved survival in patients with stage 3 colon cancer, but the relationship between coffee consumption and survival in patients with metastatic forms of the disease hasn’t been known.”
The study controlled for race, smoking, alcohol intake, aspirin use, diabetes, and the addition of milk, nondairy creamers or sweeteners to the coffee.
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