Coffee can cut risk of breast cancer recurrence
While previous studies have shown that coffee helps to protect against breast cancer, a new study led by Lund University, has confirmed that coffee inhibits the growth of tumours and reduces the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with the drug tamoxifen.
Researchers Ann Rosendahl and Helena Jernstrom said that the study showed 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.
It also showed that those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day had smaller tumours and a lower proportion of hormone-dependent tumours.
In the cell study, the researchers looked more closely at two substances that usually occur in the coffee drunk in Sweden – caffeine and caffeic acid.
They added that breast cancer cells reacted to these substances, especially caffeine, with reduced cell division and increased cell death, especially in combination with tamoxifen, and it showed that these substances had an effect on the breast cancer cells and turned off signalling pathways that the cancer cells required to grow.
The researchers have demonstrated both in breast cancer patients and at cell level that coffee appears to reinforce the effect of treatment with tamoxifen, but emphasise the importance of taking prescribed medication.
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