(CBS News) – Colon cancer patients who regularly drink caffeinated coffee may be lowering their risk of tumor recurrence and death from the disease, new research suggests.
But researchers added that it’s premature to tell patients to drink coffee to reduce their risk of the cancer’s return.
The study found that people with advanced (stage III) colon cancer who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee every day had 52 percent lower odds of disease recurrence or cancer death compared with coffee abstainers. Even people who regularly drank slightly less (two to three cups) per day appeared to reap some of the same benefits, just to a lesser degree.
“There is already an abundance of evidence that diet and lifestyle can have a great deal of positive impact in terms of reducing the risk for developing colon cancer,” explained study lead author Dr. Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “Now we have found that caffeinated coffee seems to independently improve the outcome for colon cancer patients,” he said.