December 18th, 2009

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Lethal and Advanced Prostate Cancer


Men who drink coffee may have a reduced risk of developing lethal and advanced prostate cancer. These results were presented at the 2009 AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research conference.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer (other than skin cancer) in U.S. men. Each year, roughly 192,000 men are diagnosed with the disease.

Coffee contains many biologically active compounds. It has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism and sex hormone levels.

To evaluate the effects of coffee consumption on risk of prostate cancer, researchers evaluated information from the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study. Information about coffee consumption was collected from nearly 50,000 men every four years between 1986 and 2006. During this same period, close to 5,000 of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

  • Overall, there was a weak association between coffee consumption and risk of prostate cancer. Compared with non-drinkers, men who consumed six or more cups of coffee per day were 19% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • A larger benefit of coffee consumption was seen when the researchers focused on the most advanced prostate cancers. Men who drank the most coffee were 59% less likely than non-drinkers to develop lethal or advanced prostate cancer.
  • Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee had a similar effect on prostate cancer risk.

If confirmed in other studies, these results suggest that consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of lethal or advanced prostate cancer.

Reference: Wilson WM, Kasperzyk JL, Stark JR et al. Coffee consumption and risk of lethal and advanced prostate cancer. Presented at the 2009 AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research conference. December 6-9, 2009. Houston, TX.  Abstract A106.

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