Coffee Drinking Lowers Risk for Head and Neck Cancers

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Good news for coffee drinkers.  A new study found that drinking caffeinated coffee is associated with lower risk for head and neck cancers.  The study was published in June 22 online issue of the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 

Tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking are the major risk factors for head and neck cancers (cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx).  These 2 risk factors are responsible for approximately 75% of cases diagnosed in North America and Europe. 

Using 9 case-control studies of head and neck cancers, the investigators pooled individual-level data from 5,139 patients with cancer and 9,028 controls. 

The investigator found that drinking caffeinated coffee was inversely associated with risk for oral cavity or pharyngeal cancer. Compared with no coffee intake, the risk of developing head and neck cancer were reduced by 4% for an increment of 1 cup of coffee per day or by 39% for consumption of more than 4 cups per day. 

There is, however, no relationship between tea drinking and head and neck cancer risk. 

This pooled analysis of studies suggests a relationship between caffeinated coffee drinking and risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. 

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Published online June 22, 2010

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