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Can Coffee Cause Breast Cancer

What Kind Of Scientific Study Was This

Can coffee cause cancer?

This was a cross-sectional study in which the authors aimed to investigate whether coffee intake was associated with breast volume and how this was modified by a particular variant of gene CYP1A2*1F . The gene codes for the CYP1A2 enzyme, which plays a role in both coffee and oestrogen metabolism. Women with the A/A genotype who have a high caffeine intake have previously been shown to have a higher ratio of certain types of oestrogens, which is thought to be protective against breast cancer.

The researchers recruited 269 Swedish volunteers who completed a questionnaire on reproductive issues, use of contraception, smoking, coffee consumption , and other information . Body measurements were taken at set times during the menstrual cycle. The womens breast volume was assessed by asking them to take a kneeling position with the breasts hanging down. The approximate volume was then worked out by a simple calculation . Laboratory methods were used to analyse the CYP1A21F gene, and levels of oestrogen and other hormonal factors. In their statistical analyses, the researchers looked for any associations between the CYP1A21F genotype and drinking three or more cups of coffee per day.

Are There Any Benefits Of Caffeine

The coffee brew is a rich source of various bioactive compounds that are powerful antioxidants. Though the naturally occurring compounds may be destroyed during roasting, the antioxidant properties of coffee may be maintained and even increased by the production of compounds that have antioxidant activity.

Consumption of coffee in moderate amounts has been associated with more health benefits than harm. A study found that drinking coffee was accompanied by an 815 percent decrease in death risk . Other studies found that people who drink coffee may have a decreased risk of the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Parkinsons disease

Does Drinking Coffee Make Breasts Denser

If you are wondering or have heard that drinking coffee makes your breasts denser this is not 100% true. There have been studies done that show little to no association with breast density in premenopausal women.

The connection between the dense breast tissue and caffeine or coffee is not yet fully understood. There are many genes in the body that will be involved in the estrogen metabolism and inflammation resulting from caffeine consumption.

According to the American College of Radiology, there are 4 different types of breasts.

  • Breasts consisting of almost entirely fatty breast tissue
  • Breasts containing scattered amounts of dense breast tissue
  • Breasts with varying dense breast tissue
  • Breasts with extremely dense breast tissue
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    What Is Dense Breast Tissue

    Dense breasts are more common in younger women with smaller breasts. You cannot feel breast density and you cant tell just by firmness. You have to go to a doctor and get a mammogram.

    It has been established by many studies that people with dense breasts are at a higher risk for breast cancer. However, the research done on caffeine and breast cancer found that drinking coffee does not increase any risk in breast cancer.

    Because of these results, women should not be concerned about breast size reduction and breast cancer caused by drinking coffee.

    Caffeine Coffee And Breast Cancerwhats The Answer

    Coffee and cancer  what does the evidence say?

    Allison Manderfield

    Writers Comment: As a senior graduating from UCD, I have become convinced that coffee is absolutely essential to receive a diploma from this university. And as a Genetics major, I am also intrigued by the complex interactions of lifestyle choices with genetic predispositions to disease. In my Writing in the Professions: Science course, I decided to explore the relationships among caffeine, genetics, and breast cancer and wrote an extensive collaborative literature review on this topic. Later, I wrote Caffeine, Coffee, and Breast Cancer Whats the Answer? to communicate this scientific issue to a more general public audience. By using a womens health magazine style, I hoped to educate women about the current research involving caffeine, genetics and breast cancer risk to enable them to make more informed lifestyle choices. Many thanks to Dr. Rebekka Andersen for challenging me to get creative and transform this complicated issue to make it accessible to non-specialist readers . Now, after many revisions , I hope you enjoy this piece.

    Warmed by the rays of morning sunlight that pour through the coffeehouse windows, I settle into my favorite chair. With a piping hot espresso in one hand and a genetics textbook in the other, I am ready for some serious finals preparation. Just as the caffeine begins to take effect and I become deeply engrossed in the molecular mechanisms of cellular development, I am startled by my phones buzz.

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    Coffee May Decrease Risk Of Skin Cancer

    Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop basal cell skin cancers and malignant melanoma, and their risk decreases with every cup they drink. Coffee has long been associated with a reduction in the risk of various cancers however the current study is the first to show a reduction in the risk of melanoma.

    In a study run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and AARP a food questionnaire was sent to 3.5 million AARP members living in California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Atlanta and Detroit.

    According to findings of the study which were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, people who drank the most coffee every day enjoyed a lower risk of melanoma, compared with those who drank little to no coffee.

    People who drank one to three cups a day had about a 10 percent decreased risk of melanoma compared with those who drank none at all, while those who drank four or more cups had a 20 percent decreased risk.

    It is important to understand that the study only uncovered an association between coffee consumption and the risk of developing melanoma risk it doesnt prove a true cause and effect relationship but is certainly intriguing.

    Some previous research has shown that coffee drinking may be protective against other skin cancer, apparently by mitigating the damage to skin cells caused by the suns ultraviolet rays.

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    Coffee And Cancer: What The Research Really Shows

    Researchers have been investigating the links between coffee and cancer for decades. But there is still a lot they dont know. In 2016, an expert panel convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer the arm of the World Health Organization that is responsible for assessing whether certain substances cause cancer could not conclude that drinking coffee is carcinogenic based on the current evidence available.

    And now the coffee-cancer connection is in the news again. A California court ruling last week about a coffee warning related to a chemical formed during the roasting process has raised questions among consumers.

    So, what do coffee drinkers need to know? In this interview, American Cancer Society researchers, Susan Gapstur, PhD, and , ScD, provide insights into what studies to date really show when it comes to coffee and cancer, and discuss what other research is still needed.

    Q. What does the research show about the link between coffee and cancer?

    A. Numerous studies have shown that coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes of death. However, associations with cancer overall or with specific types of cancer are unclear. In 2016, an expert working group convened for the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs Programme reviewed the worlds body of human and laboratory research on coffee drinking and cancer risk, and they found the evidence of carcinogenicity of coffee drinking to be unclassifiable.

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    What Is Acrylamide And Should You Be Worried

    Acrylamide is a chemical thats used to produce components involved in the production of products such as plastics, paper, and adhesives.

    Its classified by the National Toxicology Program as being reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans based off of findings in animal studies.

    Acrylamide can also be found in foods that are heated to high temperatures by methods such as frying or baking. In addition to roasted coffee, other examples of foods that can contain acrylamide include french fries, potato chips, and crackers.

    So, should you be concerned about the acrylamide content in coffee and other foods?

    Lets explore some of the current research on if other factors associated with coffee could be linked with cancer.

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    Caffeine As A Breast Cancer Treatment

    Does Starbucks Coffee Cause Cancer?

    Caffeine is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. Antioxidants counteract oxidationa chemical process that leads to cancer and heart disease. Inflammation exacerbates disease, including cancer. For these reasons, caffeine has been considered as a possible treatment for breast cancer.

    Guaraná, a highly caffeinated food, was studied in the laboratory setting. It appeared to stop the growth of breast cancer cells without affecting normal cells. However, this effect has not been seen in humans and the food has not been used as a breast cancer treatment.

    Another laboratory experiment evaluated the response of cancer cells to caffeine. The researchers found that cell growth was suppressed in estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative samples. They also noted that women who consumed high amounts of caffeine and were treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention were less likely to develop the condition. The researchers suggested that caffeine could make women more sensitive to the beneficial effects of the drug.

    Because findings in laboratory experiments are not always the same when they are applied to humans, the effects of caffeine on breast cancer cells would have to be replicated in humans before it would be accepted as a treatment for breast cancer. Until more is known, you should not attempt to use caffeine as a strategy for preventing breast cancer.

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    Should People Drink Less Coffee

    Current US dietary guidelines state that moderate coffee intake, providing up to 400 mg/day of caffeine, can be part of a healthy diet in adults. Australia and New Zealand guidelines also state a maximum daily limit of 400 mg caffeine for adults .

    Caffeine content varies according to the type of coffee beverage for example, a 250-mL cup of instant coffee contains around 80 mg of caffeine whereas a 30-mL single shot of espresso contains around 100 mg. The amount of caffeine in a single espresso shot may also vary: US guidelines estimate 64 mg/30 mL, whereas an Australian study measured 126 mg/30 mL.12, 14, 15 Therefore when estimating caffeine intake, it is important to use reliable, country-specific guidelines for different coffee beverages.

    From a health perspective it is also relevant to consider the calorie content of your preferred brew, particularly if you like to use whole milk, cream, and/or added sugar.

    How Might Coffee Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

    The exact mechanism behind how coffee may reduce the risk of cancer is unclear, and there are several different theories.

    Theres some evidence that chemicals in coffee may be able to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent long-term inflammation both things thought to be involved in the development of cancer.

    Other researchers have proposed that coffee could protect against DNA damage, slow the growth of tumours or cause damaged cells to die before they develop into cancer.

    But at the moment these are just theories well need more research to understand whether and how coffee could affect cancer growth and development.

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    Daily Coffee And Survival

    The study included 8,900 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The women were part of the Nurses Health Studies and they had completed questionnaires about their dietary habits along with other lifestyle and relevant factors every four years. Lead author and AICR grantee Maryam Farvid, PhD., and her colleagues, calculated averages of the womens coffee and tea habits at least a year after diagnosis and every four years thereafter.

    After a median of almost a dozen years, 1,054 women had died from breast cancer out of 2,501 total deaths. Drinking over three cups of coffee a day was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer compared to non-coffee drinkers during the course of the study. Drinking over two cups of daily coffee linked to a similar lower risk of dying from any cause. Using the last questionnaire women completed before they were diagnosed, the study found that coffee intake pre-diagnosis was not linked with survival.

    Three cups of daily tea after diagnosis was also associated with a 26 percent lower risk of dying from any cause compared with non-drinkers. These links showed after taking into account breast cancer treatment, BMI, physical activity and other factors that can affect survival.

    Coffee contains caffeine and other phytochemicals well studied in lab research for controlling cancer cell growth. Coffees compounds may affect survival by reducing high levels of insulin and inflammation, the paper suggests.

    Will Coffee Or Caffeine Reduce Breast Size

    Coffee can cancel out cancer

    So there have been some misconceptions that drinking coffee will reduce breast size.

    This is not the case. It was caused by a study done by the British Journal of Cancer negatively linking coffee and breast size. In the study, they surveyed 269 women and found that those that drank 3 or more cups of coffee a day had smaller breasts than those who drank less than 3 cups of coffee. However, if the woman had the CYP1A2*1F gene, it actually showed that the women had a slightly larger breast size. They had a breast size larger by about 50 mL.

    There are a lot of problems with this study so you should not worry too much about coffee making your breasts smaller.

    The first thing is this study does not track the size of the breasts over time. You cannot establish whether breast size was affected by the coffee with a cross-sectional study at one point in time.

    Secondly, the lifestyles of those women who drank 3+ cups of coffee a day are definitely different than those that did not drink any coffee. There are many factors that will affect the growth of breasts and you cannot determine if coffee had any significant impact on breast size with just 1 piece of information.

    The third and last reason you cannot believe this study is the way they measured and calculated breast volume. They used a pyramid formula which is the base area of the breast x the height divided by 3.

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    Myth: Caffeine Increases Your Risk Of Breast Cancer

    No. Studies have found no link between the consumption of caffeine and an increased breast cancer risk. Rather, some studies have found that caffeine may actually decrease a persons risk.

    There have always been quite a few concerns surrounding the use of caffeine some true and some false. Youve probably heard people say that caffeine stunts your growth, or that it can dehydrate you, or make it difficult to get pregnant. And now it seems that people are saying caffeine can give you breast cancer. While its important that we all exercise caution around the substances we are putting into our bodies, its also important that we dont give in to the everything causes cancer mentality and spread frightening rumours as a result.

    So, heres what you need to know about caffeine. Two studies, one Swedish and one German, studied thousands of postmenopausal women and their health histories half that were diagnosed with breast cancer and the other half that were not. Heres what they found:

    • Women who drank at least five cups of coffee had 33-57% less likely to develop hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer post menopause
    • Coffee drinking was also related to a lower risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer

    Similarly, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort study came to the same conclusion.

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    Lifestyle And Living After Breast Cancer

    This latest study adds to previous research by Farvid suggesting that what breast cancer survivors eat and drink after a diagnosis can improve survival. AICR wrote about two of those studies here.

    AICRs latest report on breast cancer survival found that evidence indicated certain healthy lifestyles improved survival, yet the evidence was limited to draw a conclusion. Cancer survivorship is a fast-growing area of research. What evidence does clearly show is that healthy eating and physical activity lowers risk of the most common cancers. That is why AICR recommends that cancer survivors follow the same recommendations to lower risk, if and when they are able.

    You can read more on the research between coffee and lower cancer risk here.

    Along with AICR, this study was supported by the Nationals Institute of Health and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    AICR Impact

    The American Institute for Cancer Research helps the public understand the relationship between lifestyle, nutrition and cancer risk. We work to prevent cancer through innovative research, community programs and impactful public health initiatives.

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    Does Caffeine Cause Cancer

    The research on drinking coffee and the potential risk of cancers found that the risk of cancer isnt increased by consuming coffee. Furthermore, drinking coffee is accompanied by a decreased risk of cancer of the liver and produces a beneficial effect on liver enzymes and cirrhosis.

    Does caffeine cause cancer? In another analysis, coffee consumption was associated with a decreased risk of endometrial cancer. A possible reduced risk was also demonstrated in certain studies for pharyngeal/oral cancer and prostate cancer .

    Case-control research studies showed that coffee drinking produces favorable effects on colorectal cancer. For cancer of the urinary bladder, the relationship between caffeine and cancer isnt consistent, but any possibility of direct association isnt related to duration and dose and may also depend on the persistent effect of smoking.

    According to the evidence, there is no overall association of coffee intake with the occurrence of cancers of the lungs, pancreas, stomach, prostate, ovary, and breast.

    Does caffeine cause cancer? While consuming coffee is no longer classified as carcinogenic , in 1991, coffee drinking was classified as being probably carcinogenic to human beings.

    For more than 20 other malignancies, evidence of a link between caffeine and cancer was inconclusive.


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