According to a new study conducted at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, caffeine is positively associated with colon cancer treatment and prevention.
Regular consumption of coffee that contains a high level of caffeine can play a significant role in preventing colon cancer, and also prolonging the survival of colon cancer patients.
The inverse relationship between coffee and colon cancer
A study published in the clinical Journal of Oncology indicates that advanced colon cancer patients treated with radical surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy enjoy better survival and quality of life if they consume at least 4 cups of coffee per day. This is equivalent to 460 mgs of caffeine taken daily.
Statistically, coffee consumers have 42% fewer chances of returning colon cancer than non-coffee drinkers. The incidence of deaths from colon cancer among coffee consumers is also 33% less compared to the others.
Charles Fuchs’ research on colon cancer treatment
A team of researchers headed by Charles Fuchs, the director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber found that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee is moderately effective in cancer prevention. However, there is little benefit of taking one cup of coffee per day in this regard.
About 1000 patients participated in their study. The patients filled up the questionnaires about coffee drinking habit during the chemotherapy and then again about one year later.
Fuchs came to a conclusion that colon cancer patients who are regular coffee consumer suffer from tumor recurrence less frequently and also enjoy better survival due to a higher rate of cure. It is believed that most cancer recurrence occurs within five years after completion of treatment. Statistics show that stage III colon cancer that involves regional lymph nodes recurs in 35% patients.
Fuchs observed the effects of caffeinated coffee drinks on colon cancer recurrence. He inspired colon cancer patients who were previously drinking coffee to continue the habit as it helps in preventing tumor recurrence. However, patients who want to start drinking coffee should talk to their doctors.
The beneficial role of coffee has been established through several studies conducted recently. Anticancer effect of coffee is not limited to colon cancer only, but prostate cancer, liver cancer, melanoma and breast cancers can also be prevented to some extent.
Coffee and other dietary factors were studied in the research. Consumption of coffee delays the development of type 2 diabetes in addition to cancer prevention. Colon cancer occurs in genetically susceptible persons who are exposed to environmental triggers and other risk factors like diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and fatty foods.
The study indicates that no other components of coffee except caffeine have a preventive and curative role in cancer. Anticancer effects of caffeine of not fully understood. Insulin sensitivity is increased after caffeine intake which in turn reduces inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect is believed to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
Risks of diabetes and cancer can be reduced effectively by leading a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, keeping ideal body weight, taking a balanced diet and drinking moderate amount of coffee.
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