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Two Cups of Coffee Daily May Help Women With Breast Cancer

A recent study suggests that coffee may slow the growth of breast cancer tumors and lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women with breast cancer who are being treated with the drug tamoxifen.

Participants in the study included 1090 breast cancer patients, 500 who were treated with tamoxifen. After examining lifestyle factors, the researchers found that drinking at least two cups of coffee daily was associated with half the risk of breast cancer recurrence when compared with drinking no coffee.

They also found that the women who drank at least two cups of coffee per day had smaller tumors and a lower proportion of hormone-dependent tumors.

The researchers also examined how breast cancer cells reacted to two substances that are present in the coffee consumed in Sweden: caffeine and caffeic acid. They found that both substances, particularly caffeine, reduced cell division and increased cell death, especially when introduced with tamoxifen. They suggested that the two substances turn off the signaling pathways that the cancer cells need in order to grow.

Researchers from Lund University and Skåne University Hospital conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 17, 2015, in Clinical Cancer Research.

Previous studies suggest that coffee may help lower the risk of developing diabetes, prostate cancer, cirrhosis and oral cavities.

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