June 23, 2013 by Robert Wascher
Filed under A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, Cancer, Cancer Death, Cancer Incidence, Cancer Prevention, Healthy Diet, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer Prevention, Prostate Cancer Risk, Risk of Death, Weekly Health Update, cancer risk, coffee, death, diet, health, lifestyle, men, mortality, prostate cancer, risk
A large new study strongly links coffee consumption to a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer.
COFFEE MAY REDUCE PROSTATE CANCER RISK
An estimated 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States in 2013, and nearly 30,000 American men will die from this form of cancer in 2013. As is the case with breast cancer in women, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer (other than skin cancer) in men and the second most common cause of cancer death in men. (Sadly, lung cancer, an almost completely preventable form of cancer, remains the #1 cancer killer in both men and women.) As I discuss in my cancer prevention book for lay readers (A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), in the chapter dedicated to prostate cancer, there are multiple modifiable lifestyle factors that have been linked to prostate cancer risk.
Coffee consumption, like many other dietary factors potentially linked to prostate cancer risk, has been evaluated in several previous public health studies, but the data from these mostly small-scale studies has been contradictory. However, a newly published large-scale prospective public health study suggests that coffee consumption may, indeed, be associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer. This important new study appears in the current issue of theBritish Journal of Cancer.
This Japanese study recruited 18,853 men between the ages of 40 and 79 to participate in this very large prospective public health study. A previously validated survey was given to all of these men, and questions about dietary habits, including coffee consumption, were included in this survey. This very large group of middle-aged and elderly men was closely followed for an average of 11 years, during which 318 of these nearly 19,000 male volunteers were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Compared with the men who did not drink coffee at all, men who drank coffee occasionally (i.e., less than one cup per day, on average) were 19 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, although this finding did not quite reach statistical significance. As would be expected if coffee truly played a role in reducing prostate cancer risk, increasing levels of coffee consumption were associated with greater reductions in prostate cancer risk. For example, men who drank 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day were, on average, 27 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer (compared to nondrinkers), while men who drank 3 or more cups of coffee per day were 37 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. (These latter two findings were found to be statistically significant.)
While I frequently caution readers that the findings of most small-scale public health studies on disease prevention are not definitive, larger prospectively conducted public health studies, such as this one, and particularly studies with long-term follow-up (such as this one), are much more likely to generate valid observations and conclusions. Since there is little apparent downside to moderate coffee consumption, the findings of this study would appear to support the consumption of coffee (again, in moderation…) as a component of what I call, in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, an “evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle.” So, go ahead and have a cuppa joe, or two, each day, men!
For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.
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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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