Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer: Can Coffee Reduce Risk?

cups of coffee panoramic

Recent research demonstrates that coffee consumption may reduce your risk of cancer; more specifically, this study (published in the open access journal Breast Cancer Research) shows that drinking coffee specifically reduces the risk of cancer not driven by “female” hormones, or estrogen-receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

The study: Swedish researchers compared lifestyle factors and coffee consumption among women with breast cancer, and age-matched women without the disease. Several lifestyle factors influenced risk, including age at menopause, exercise, weight, education, and a family history of breast cancer. Coffee drinkers had a lower incidence of breast cancer than women who rarely drank coffee. But when  adjusted for factors such as age, the protective effect of coffee on breast cancer were only measurable for ER-neagative breast cancer.


Results: The authors compared lifestyle factors and coffee consumption between women with breast cancer and age-matched women without. They found that coffee drinkers had a lower incidence of breast cancer than women who rarely drank coffee. However they also found that several lifestyle factors affected breast cancer rates, such as age. Once they had adjusted their data to account for these other factors they found that the protective effect of coffee on breast cancer was only measurable for ER-negative breast cancer.
My take: There are often conflicting results regarding the beneficial effects of coffee. This study is helpful in that it broke out the coffee effect by the type of breast cancer (ER positive versus ER negative). Now we have the suggestion that coffee may lower the risk of ER-negative breast cancer. Oh, and it tastes good too! (Full disclosure: I live in the Seattle area.) It seemed that the more the coffee, the lower the risk. But take heed: Once you get up to 4+ cups, you may introduce other problems such as cardiac ones.
The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Published by

understandcancerin60minutes

Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

3 thoughts on “Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer: Can Coffee Reduce Risk?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s