A New Correlation Between Coffee and Colon Cancer Prevention
An observation from a routine clinical trial could offer a breakthrough lead in colon cancer prevention, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine. Al B. Benson, III, MD, a professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was a member of the team of scientists responsible for the insight, which picked up on a notable correlation between coffee consumption and colon cancer recurrence.
While data from the clinical trial showed patients with colon cancer who drank coffee had lower rates of recurrence, the evidence is not conclusive or definitive of a cause and effect relationship.
Specifically, the team looked at questionnaires that the 953 patients filled out during the trial and noted that those who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return compared to non-coffee drinkers. They were also 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or other causes.
Previous studies have also connected increased coffee consumption to decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and colon cancer share certain risk factors, such as obesity and insulin levels. The Northwestern Medicine scientists hypothesize that caffeine may increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and have anti-inflammatory effects, which could in turn decrease the risk for both diseases.
Moreover, to Dr. Benson, the data from this clinical trial affirms the need for more research into diet and lifestyle factors as prevention methods for colon cancer and supports efforts to collect more data like it.