Curing colon cancer with coffee?
Drinking coffee every day could help keep colon cancer from returning, according to researchers at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
“We found that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of the cancer coming back and a significantly greater survival and chance of a cure,” said Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber, in a news release.
In a study of individuals with stage 3 colon cancer who had already received chemotherapy and surgery, those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return compared to non-coffee drinkers, and 33 percent less likely to die of cancer or any other cause.
Two or three cups offered some protection against the disease, while one cup or less offered little protection, according to researchers.
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, and 90 percent of new cases occur in people 50 years and older, according to the American Cancer Society. There are more than 1 million colon cancer survivors in the U.S.
However, some doctors are skeptical on whether anyone – cancer patient or not – should consume four cups a day.
“Until there are two or three more studies to support this, I would be cautious,” says Dr. Sakhie Hussain, a gastroenterologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, who would like to see a study on this topic that tracks more than 25,000 people over five to 10 years.
Researchers also caution people from consuming large amounts of coffee all at once.
“If you are a coffee drinker and are being treated for colon cancer, don’t stop,” says Dr. Fuchs. “But if you’re not a coffee drinker and wondering whether to start, you should first discuss it with your physician.”
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