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Drinking coffee may reduce colon cancer's return

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Consuming caffeinated coffee daily is good for health as it may reduce the return of colon cancer in patients who were diagnosed with stage III of the disease.

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston conducted the study with 1,000 patients who had undergone surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer.

During the study, researchers found out that the benefit was seen in those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day, for about 460 milligrams of caffeine. They also found that caffeine in coffee lowered the risk of recurrence and death rather than other coffee components.

"These patients were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and were 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or any other cause," said the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Those who drank two to three cups of coffee daily experienced a "more modest benefit, while little protection was associated with one cup or less."

Stage III disease means that the colon cancer has been found in the lymph nodes near the original tumor site, but not elsewhere in the body.

Lead author Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber, said these patients have about a 35 percent chance of the cancer coming back after treatment.

Most recurrences happen within five years of treatment.

"We found that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of the cancer coming back and a significantly greater survival and chance of a cure," Fuchs said in a statement announcing the study`s findings.

Other studies have suggested that coffee may have a protective effect against postmenopausal breast cancer, melanoma, liver cancer and advanced prostate cancer.

More study is needed to confirm the study`s finding of the link between coffee and preventing colon cancer`s return.

"If you are a coffee drinker and are being treated for colon cancer, don`t stop," Fuchs said.

"But if you`re not a coffee drinker and wondering whether to start, you should first discuss it with your physician."

(With Agency Inputs)

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