Study Shows No Causal Link Between Drinking Coffee and Risk of Breast Cancer
Amount of caffeine consumption is not associated with an overall increased risk of breast cancer. These results were recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Breast cancer is diagnosed in nearly 200,000 women annually in the United States. With such a high prevalence, researchers are evaluating ways in which to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, and particularly ways in which individuals can alter their lifestyle choices to reduce their risks. There has been perception that consumption of coffee, particularly in large amounts, may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. However, more recent research has not been able to establish a clear association between coffee and breast cancer. Research further exploring this association continues.
Researchers from Harvard University and Japan recently conducted a clinical study to further explore the potential relationship between caffeine consumption and the risk of breast cancer. The study was an analysis of data that included over 38,000 women ages 45 years or older.
The results of the analysis indicated that the consumption of caffeine, caffeinated beverages or caffeinated foods was not associated with an overall risk of breast cancer. Among women with non-cancerous breast disease, those who consumed the largest amount of caffeine had a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Caffeine consumption was, however, associated with hormone-negative breast cancers and breast tumors larger than 2 cm.
The researchers concluded, "These data show no overall association between caffeine consumption and breast cancer risk. The possibility of increased risk in women with benign breast disease or for tumors that are estrogen and progesterone-receptor negative or larger than 2 cm warrants further study."
Reference: Ishitani K, Lin J, Manson J, et al. Caffeine Consumption and the Risk of Breast Cancer in a Large Prospective Cohort of Women. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008; 168: 2022-2031.