Coffee Might Lower the Recurrence Risk of Colon Cancer
Dr. Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, from the University of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and colleagues reported that coffee might lower the recurrence risk of colon cancer. Despite their findings, the research team warned that these findings are not evidence of causation and are only associations. Therefore, clinicians should not simply recommend coffee to colon cancer patients based on this study alone. Dr. Charles Fuchs commented that coffee drinker patients should not stop drinking coffee amidst their treatment. He was also quick to add that, non-coffee drinker patients should not blindly start drinking coffee just based on this study alone. He suggested that they should consult their physician regarding this matter.
The research team conducted their study on stage 3 colon cancer patients who received various chemotherapies and surgeries. A total of 953 patients were included in this study. Their consumption habits for 128 foods were recorded by the research team. The eating habits recorded include non-herbal tea, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated coffee throughout their chemotherapy and post-treatment. Overall, most benefits were seen among those patients who drank a lot of caffeinated coffee. Those who drank at least 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (approximately 460 mg of caffeine) had a 52% recurrence risk reduction than those who do not drink coffee. Those who drank less had a lesser degree of recurrence risk reduction than heavy coffee drinkers. This finding suggests that there is a dose-response effect between coffee intake and recurrence risk reduction.
Dr. Charles Fuchs quoted that coffee drinker patients have a greater survival chance with their recurrence risk being reduced. He added that most recurrences occur within 5 years. After 5 years, cancer is unlikely to recur. The research team hypothesized that decreased hyperinsulinemia and improved insulin sensitization in coffee drinkers might be the underlying mechanism behind the recurrence risk reduction in colon cancer patients. Prior studies have highlighted the role of excess body calories in increasing colon cancer mortality and recurrence.