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Can coffee fight breast cancer ?

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by Aimee Keenan-Greene

Will it or won't it?

Adding to the ever growing research on coffee and cancer, a recently published article in the May journal Breast Cancer Research says java, and plenty of it,  specifically reduces the risk of antiestrogen-resistant estrogen-receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

Researchers from Sweden compared coffee consumption and lifestyle between women with breast cancer and cancer-free women of the same age.

They found coffee drinkers had a lower incidence of breast cancer than women who rarely drank coffee.

They analyzed data from almost 6,000 post-menopausal women - 2,818 women with breast cancer and 3,111 women without -  who drank five or more cups a day.

Results showed these women had a 57 percent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those who drank less than a cup a daily.

Researchers say coffee contains several types of plant based chemicals called phytoestrogens that act like estrogens and can increase or decrease risk of breast cancer depending on the type.

Besides ER-negative breast cancer, other types include HER2-positive breast cancer - where the cancer cells produce too much HER2/neu protein -  and the rare but aggressive triple negative breast cancer.  This type lacks receptors to the hormones and proteins commonly found in other breast cancers.

About 12 percent, or 1 in 8 women in the US,  will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.

Last year an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed, as well as 54,010 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.


"Coffee consumption modifies risk of estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer"
Jingmei Li, Petra Seibold, Jenny Chang-Claude, Dieter Flesch-Janys, Jianjun Liu, Kamila Czene, Keith Humphreys and Per Hall  Breast Cancer Research

Photo credit: wikipedia

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