Q: Do either coffee or caffeine cause cancer?
A: There is no conclusive evidence which suggests that this is so. Indeed, in 1997, the World Cancer Research Fund published a comprehensive review of diet and cancer. In regards to coffee it stated: “Most evidence suggests that regular consumption of coffee and/or tea has no significant relationship with the risk of cancer at any site”.
Q: Why has some research suggested that coffee drinking is associated with an increased risk for certain cancers?
A: Such studies, which tend to be in the minority, are often inconclusive, or have arrived at results which are statistically insignificant. The wide variety of potential cancer-related factors, including diet, lifestyle and smoking, are not always adequately accounted for. Such confounding factors are known to impact greatly on the potential development of certain cancers, confusing results and making their interpretation difficult.
Q: Is it true that coffee can have a protective effect on the development of certain cancers?
A: Some recent studies have suggested that coffee consumption can have a protective effect against the development of cancer at certain body sites, however, further research is needed before it can be stated categorically that coffee protects against cancer. It is certainly of note that coffee does not cause cancer, therefore consumers/patients can continue to drink coffee in moderation without cause for concern.