A new study has found that drinking two cups of coffee a day cuts the risk of the recurrence of breast cancer by half. Coupled with tamoxifen, a hormone drug that kills and stunts the growth of cancer cells, the caffeine and caffeic acid in coffee inhibits the growth of tumors and reduces the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The study was carried out by Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in collaboration with researchers from the UK. It is a follow-up of the results from a previous research two years ago. Researchers analyzed clinical data and lifestyle information from over 1,000 breast cancer patients. “The study shows that among the over 500 women treated with tamoxifen, those who had drunk at least two cups of coffee a day had only half the risk of recurrence of those who drank less coffee or none at all,” said researchers Ann Rosendahl and Helena Jernström, who obtained the results in collaboration with Jeff Holly and his research team at University of Bristol. “The study also shows that those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day had smaller tumors and a lower proportion of hormone-dependent tumors,” they added. The researchers explained that coffee reinforces the effect of tamoxifen, in which together they turn off signal pathways that the cancer cells need in order to grow.
“Just two cups a day is sufficient to make a difference.” However, researchers still stress the importance of taking the prescribed medication for treating breast cancer.
Sources: April 21, 2015. "Coffee protects against breast cancer recurrence, detailed findings confirm". sciencedaily.com April 21, 2015. "Coffee 'can cut risk of breast cancer tumours returning': Two cups a day found to reduce chance by half". dailymail.co.uk