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Are Coffee Drinkers Less Prone to Aggressive Breast Cancer?
Date:5/11/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink a substantial amount of coffee each day may lower their risk for developing a particular type of breast cancer, Swedish researchers say.

Their study linked consumption of five or more cups of coffee a day to a relatively marked reduction in the non-hormone-responsive disease known as ER-negative breast cancer. However, coffee consumption did not appear to lower the risk for developing ER-positive breast cancer, a hormone-responsive estrogen receptor form of the disease.

Daily consumption of coffee may protect against the most aggressive type of breast cancer, ER-negative, said study co-author Dr. Per Hal, a professor in the medical epidemiology and biostatistics department at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

"Now, we don't have all the details," he cautioned. "We don't know, for example, what specific type of coffee we're talking about here. But what we do know is that the protective effect is quite striking and remains even after adjusting for a lot of other factors that have the potential to play a protective role. And we know that we're talking about what we could call a relatively normal amount of coffee drinking. Certainly we're not talking about consuming gigantic amounts of coffee. So, this is a very intriguing finding."

The study, reported online May 11 in Breast Cancer Research, involved 5,929 Swedish women, aged 50 to 74. About half of the women had breast cancer.

Questionnaires were used to assess behavioral and health characteristics, including smoking and drinking patterns, physical activity routines, family history of breast cancer, hormone therapy protocols, nutritional intake, body mass index, education level and coffee consumption habits. Both tumor status and breast cancer type were also noted.

The principle finding: Drinking coffee appeared to spur a "strong red
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