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Coffee & Health

Does Coffee Cause Cancer?

Coffee and Cancer Risk

Well, that’s a question that has been on the minds of many for decades.

There is a lot that is vague and studies are still ongoing on the risks of coffee and your health. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has had studies on this subject.

In this article, we will highlight the various cancers linked to coffee and the studies done.

We will also learn about some health benefits of coffee. Understand whether you should start worrying about coffee consumption.

coffee and cancer.

Is coffee bad for cancer

Coffee is a stimulant that contains antioxidants that have been associated with cancer. Research conducted on rodents found increased cancer activity. But this study has not yet been identified in humans.

Acrylamide is carcinogenic, which is found in roasted coffee. Acrylamide can be found in cigarette smoking and eating unhealthy food.

There are other known non-food sources of acrylamide. This includes byproducts of industrial processes and food packaging materials and adhesives.

Another habit that is causing concern is consuming very hot coffee. Consuming hot beverages at temperatures exceeding 149ºF has been identified as carcinogenic. This has been associated with the development of esophageal cancer.

Is all this verifiable? Let’s look at what scientists and coffee researchers have to say.


Coffee and cancer research

A group of 20 participants in 1990 established coffee as a carcinogen. This was later disputed when evidence showed that the study was inconclusive.

A larger group of 1000 didn’t find any relationship between cancer and coffee. The study found little evidence suggesting coffee causes cancer. Some cancers studied include breast, prostate, pancreas, and liver.

Coffee was found to be a cancer reducing agent for endometrial and liver cancer.

With all that said and done, can coffee cause cancer?


Cancer vs Coffee: What is the Link

Coffee has been in the spotlight for many years in regard to caffeine and how it affects your body. But researchers tend to come up with varied results in regard to coffee and your health.

Here, we’ll explore some common factors linking coffee and cancer.


Hot beverages

Let’s face it, very few people prefer cold-brewed coffee. We all like it hot. Not only will you feel the taste and the flavor,, but the effects of the caffeine hit harder when it’s hot.

“There has never been solid evidence that drinking hot liquids alone will increase esophageal cancer risk.” Dr. Daniel Molena speaking to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The debate on coffee and its relation to esophageal cancer goes back to the 1930s. A study done across China established a link between drinking hot tea and the emergence of esophageal cancer.

But, the study did not find drinking hot tea only as a contributing factor in cancer. It was a result of combining hot tea while consuming alcohol and smoking.



Every item on your diet has been linked to cancer. But, there has been a minimal association between caffeine and cancer. Coffee drinking has been proved as a protective component against cancer.

During a discussion with Oncology Nutrition, Dr. Suzanne Dixon said coffee doesn’t increase cancer risk. But, she stated that caffeine may have an impact on our health in other areas. This includes high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and other heart problems.


Acrylamide and cancer

This is a compound that forms during food preparation. It often forms when cooking at high temperatures. Acrylamide forms in coffee during the roasting process.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer did studies on animals. The revelation showed that high acrylamide concentration is a probable carcinogen.

But, studies on humans have been inconclusive. There has been no evidence to prove acrylamide and its association with cancer.


What is the research

Ovarian cancer

A study was done to find out the link between coffee consumption and the risk of ovarian cancer. The controlled study had 40,140 participants with 8,568 patients with ovarian cancer.

There were no indications of ovarian cancer when consuming coffee. This also applies to decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee.


Breast cancer

Researchers wanted to analyze previous studies and publications done on breast cancer.

Out of the 37 articles under review, there was limited evidence linking breast cancer and coffee consumption. But, there was evidence to show the development of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.


Liver Cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer found no evidence connecting coffee and liver cancer. The research determined inconclusive evidence showing a link between coffee and liver cancer.

It was determined that consuming coffee reduces your risk of liver cancer by up to 40% compared to non-coffee drinkers.


Endometrial cancer

There has been talking of coffee causing endometrial cancer. This is what has led to this study to find out this association.

The results showed a reduction in the risk of endometrial cancer. However, further research is required to firm up this evidence.


Colon Cancer

The evidence showing the relationship between colon cancer remains unclear. Coffee is a widely consumed beverage that contains chemo-preventive compounds.

A study was done by the NIH-AARP Diet and Health which included 489,706 participants. The outcome showed no association between coffee and colon cancer.


What are the benefits of drinking coffee

Coffee has been linked to various health benefits. As discussed earlier, we have mentioned the benefits of coffee and in lowering the risk of cancer. Aside from that, there are other benefits as highlighted below:

  • It’s a rich source of antioxidants that comes with loads of healthy benefits.
  • Coffee lowers the risk of premature death
  • Lowers risk of stroke and heart diseases
  • Lower risk of liver and colon cancer.
  • Reduces the risk of depression developing.
  • Reduces risk of liver diseases
  • Coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lowers risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
  • Coffee improves your mood and brain functionality.


Should you be worried about drinking coffee

Coffee is not just another drink, but a beneficial one for your health. Concerns about the risk of coffee on cancer are a debate that is still out there for the jury to decide.

This article has enlightened you on the various cancers and their associations with coffee. You have also understood some key benefits linked with consuming coffee.

There is still a lot to learn with regard to coffee. Another area that has loopholes is understanding acrylamide and the risks of cancer.

Cancer does have a positive impact in reducing some diseases, including cancer. However, it should be noted that consuming alcohol and smoking while drinking coffee puts you at risk of some of these cancers.

Eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding carcinogens is a sure way to fight off cancer.