Coffee consumption and cancer

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This is the first of six blog posts on the topic of coffee consumption and cancer research. Coffee and Health also houses current scientific information on a wide range of other coffee-related topics.


Current scientific evidence suggests that moderate coffee drinking is not associated with an increased risk of cancer at most body sites.

Coffee drinking is also not linked to an increased risk of oesophageal, stomach, pancreatic, kidney, prostate, skin, ovarian or breast cancer.

Research suggests that coffee consumption may be linked to a reduced risk of developing cancer at a number of body sites, including the oral cavity/pharynx, liver, endometrium, brain, colon and rectum. More research is needed to clarify these associations.

A possible link has been shown between coffee consumption and risk of bladder and lung cancer. However, in both cases, other factors such as tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption may affect results, and further studies are needed to confirm the association.

Mode of coffee preparation may influence coffee’s effects 

A Swedish study in 2010 – the first to look at the influence of coffee brewing on cancer risk – finds that potential effects may vary depending on whether the coffee is filtered or boiled.

In some cases, filtered coffee appears to be linked to a lower risk of cancer and boiled coffee to an increased risk of the disease, but the effect of the brewing method also seems to differ depending on the body site. At some sites, boiled coffee is linked to a lower risk of developing cancer.

Further research is needed to establish the exact influence of brewing method on cancer risk.

For more information on coffee and cancer research click here, and to view information sources, click here.

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