Drinking coffee could extend survival time in patients with colorectal cancer, according to a new study published in JAMA Oncology.
Fifty percent of Americans drink coffee, cappuccino, espresso or lattes, and 64 percent admit to drinking at least a daily cup of java. The National Coffee Association says coffee consumption is increasing, and new research suggests daily coffee could enhance colon health.
Coffee and Colon Cancer
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found drinking a few cups of coffee per day was associated with increased survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (colon cancer that spreads to other parts of the body). The study also associated coffee drinking with a decreased risk of cancer worsening.
Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee produced similar results, and patients who drank more than four cups of coffee per day experienced more significant benefits.
While the study establishes an association between coffee and reduced risk of colon cancer spreading and colon cancer death, it is not a cause-and-effect relationship. The good news is that drinking coffee is not detrimental to colon health.
Kimmie Ng, the senior author of the study, said, “Although it is premature to recommend a high intake of coffee as a potential treatment for colorectal cancer, our study suggests that drinking coffee is not harmful and may potentially be beneficial.”
How to Prevent Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 20 or four or five percent.
There are many ways that you can prevent colon cancer:
- Know the risk factors for colon cancer, including your family history.
- Know the symptoms of colon cancer.
- Understand the screening methods for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colon screening because it can detect and prevent cancer in a single procedure.
- Select a qualified gastroenterologist with a high adenoma detection rate (ADR).
- Get screened at recommended intervals.
The American Cancer Society recommends all adults who are at average risk for colon cancer begin screening at age 45. Individuals with a family history of the disease or who exhibit certain risk factors may need to get screened earlier.
Call your gastroenterologist today to schedule a colonoscopy exam. Preventing colon cancer is easier and less expensive than treating the disease, so call today.