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Coffee & Health

Coffee consumption and breast cancer risk: a narrative review in the general population and in different subtypes of breast cancer

A Nehlig et al, 2021.
uropean Journal of Nutrition, published online.
January 15, 2021



Most of the existing literature reports no association or a slight negative association between coffee consumption and the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the level of risk differs when considering various subgroups, such as menopausal status, hormonal status of the tumor or genetic mutations. The present review based on a literature search sets the point on the potential influence of a common daily drink, coffee, on the risk of developing breast cancer in the general population, in different subgroups of women and the consequences of drinking coffee after breast cancer has been diagnosed and treated.


This review confirms that in the general population, there is no association between coffee intake and breast cancer risk or a slight protective effect, even at high dosages. Coffee is inversely associated with breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women and in women carrying a BRCA1 mutation. Possible risk differences exist between slow and fast caffeine metabolizers and with weight. Coffee consumption after breast cancer diagnosis and surgery, associated with tamoxifen and/or radiotherapy, reduced the occurrence of early events. The effects of coffee intake are less clear in other subgroups, mainly premenopausal women, women carrying a BRCA2 mutation and tumors with variable hormonal status (positive or negative for ER/PR) and would need additional studies.

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