Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fighting Cancer with Coffee

Since my cancer diagnosis, I have always worried about drinking coffee.

Both my Oncologist, and Radiologist have said drinking coffee is okay.  When I read articles that talk about what I should do to help my survival, they mention quitting smoking (no problem for me, I never smoked), or drinking less alcohol (high consumption is associated with recurrence, again, not a problem for me).  But nobody mentions coffee. 

I have seen that drinking tea helps fight cancer.  Many teas, especially green tea, have cancer fighting properties, but it is the antioxidants in the tea, not the caffeine that fights cancer.  I enjoy a cup of tea, but that is an afternoon drink for me...

Oh, but I LOVE my morning cup of coffee.  It is my only weakness.  

As I start my New Year trying to improve my health,  I decide to look into any connection between cancer and coffee consumption.  I was surprised and overjoyed to discover that there are more studies showing coffee preventing cancer, than coffee causing cancer.

The distinction that I found was this:

- There seems to be Acrylamide in coffee with medium and lighter roasts that cause cancer (luckily, I prefer a darker roast): see this article: Cancer Chemical Found in Coffee.

But this seems to be the only bit of information that I can find, and that coming from a country that likes to promote tea consumption ;)

Beyond that, I found study after study showing not only that coffee is not harmful, but that it seems to prevent cancer.  The best article I found was this: 

""If we had a drug for any disease that could demonstrate a risk reduction of 34%, that would be considered a great drug. That degree of risk reduction is very strong," he said.""

But to be clear, as this next article states: 
Coffee and Cancer Risk
"The study was associative, which means although researchers found a strong link between coffee drinking and reduced cancer risk, they can't say for sure that it's the coffee doing the trick."

I will keep my mind open.  I'm not going to think that I am fighting my cancer as I drink my morning coffee, but I will also stop feeling guilty for enjoying it.

Life is Good!

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