Coffee May Cut Uterine Cancer Risk

Coffee May Cut Uterine Cancer Risk

Women who consume four or more cups a coffee per day may have a lower risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) than women who drink very little or no coffee. These results were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention.

Each year in the United States, more than 46,000 women are diagnosed with cancer of the uterus. The most common type of uterine cancer is endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).

Coffee contains hundreds of different compounds, some of which may have anticancer effects. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms by which coffee may increase or decrease cancer risk are not well understood.

To explore the relationship between coffee consumption and endometrial cancer, researchers collected information from more than 67,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study.

  • The consumption of fewer than four cups of coffee per day did not affect the risk of endometrial cancer.
  • Compared with women who drank very little coffee (less than one cup per day), women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 25% less likely to develop endometrial cancer.
  • Tea consumption was not related to endometrial cancer risk.

Although these results are not definitive, they suggest that fairly heavy coffee consumption (four or more cups per day) may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. The researchers note, however, that adding substantial sugar or cream to coffee could detract from the potential benefit. Obesity is known to be an important contributor to endometrial cancer, and one of the most important things that women can do to reduce their risk of endometrial cancer is to maintain a healthy body weight through diet and exercise.

Reference: Je Y, Hankinson SE, Tworoger SS, DeVivo I, Giovannucci E. A prospective cohort study of coffee consumption and risk of endometrial cancer over a 26-year follow-up. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention. Early online publication November 22, 2011.

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