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Coffee Might Guard Against Head, Neck Cancers

Large analysis found regular drinkers were 39% less likely to get these malignancies

FRIDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee may help protect against head and neck cancers, a new review finds.

Researchers analyzed nine studies collected by the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium. They found that regular coffee drinkers (four or more cups a day) were 39 percent less likely to develop oral and pharynx cancers than people who didn't drink coffee.

"Since coffee is so widely used and there is a relatively high incidence and low survival rate of these forms of cancers, our results have important public health implications that need to be further addressed," lead researcher Mia Hashibe, an assistant professor in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah, said in an American Association for Cancer Research news release.

"What makes our results so unique is that we had a very large sample size, and since we combined data across many studies, we had more statistical power to detect associations between cancer and coffee," she added.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

A number of recent studies have suggested that coffee may help prevent cancers, including prostate cancer and brain tumors.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about head and neck cancer.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, June 22, 2010

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