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'Coffee may help beat bowel cancer', research shows

Published 18/08/2015

Patients who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day were 42% less likely to see their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers
Patients who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day were 42% less likely to see their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers

Regular cups of coffee can increase the chances of surviving bowel cancer, research has shown.

A study of nearly 1,000 treated patients found that those who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day were 42% less likely to see their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers.

They were also 33% less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.

The effect of coffee was dose responsive, increasing as more of the beverage was consumed. Two to three cups a day produced a more modest benefit, while one cup or less offered little protection.

Lead scientist Dr Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Centre at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the US, said: "We found that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of the cancer coming back and a significantly greater survival and chance of a cure."

All the patients had stage III bowel cancer, meaning the disease had spread as far as the lymph nodes near the original tumour.

Under normal circumstances, such patients had a 35% chance of cancer recurrence after surgery and chemo, said Dr Fuchs.

Despite the results, he was cautious about recommending coffee as an alternative treatment for people with bowel cancer.

Belfast Telegraph

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