February 20, 2013

February 20, 2013

Does Coffee Protect Against Oral Cancer?

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Some people have to have their morning cup of coffee to get going and some don't. But are there health benefits (besides waking up with caffeine) to drinking coffee? New study says drinking 4 or more cups daily may be beneficial to health.

The big cup of good news about coffee's health benefits just got another refill. A large new study finds that regular coffee drinkers are much less prone to dying from cancers of the mouth and upper throat.

The study, which followed more than 968,000 older men and women for 26 years, found that those who drank four or more eight-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee per day were about half as likely to die of these cancers.

These cancers, Hildebrand said, are most often linked to smoking and alcohol consumption. Although the early stage of the disease is highly treatable, researchers wrote, more than 60 percent of patients do not seek medical attention until their cancer has advanced and the odds of long-term survival have greatly worsened. Men are more than twice as likely as women to develop and die from mouth or pharynx cancer.

The subjects (average age 57), were cancer-free when they enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II starting in 1982, Hildebrand said. They were followed through 2008, and 868 deaths from oral/pharyngeal cancer were recorded.

Based on self-reported dietary information, the study found that people who drank four to six cups of java daily had a 49 percent lower risk of dying from these oral cancers. A similar but weaker association was found for those who drank decaffeinated coffee, while no link was seen with tea drinking.

No one knows for sure why coffee might have cancer-fighting properties, but animal and laboratory studies have shown that two compounds in coffee cafestol and kahweol protect against oxidative DNA damage.

She cautions that her study only captured how many people died from the disease, not how many were diagnosed with cancer overall. This means that researchers could not determine whether some people may have survived oral cancer due to improved treatment or earlier diagnosis, rather than their coffee consumption, she says.

However, the cancer society study was in line with a 2010 paper published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention by international researchers, who found a 39 percent decreased risk among coffee drinkers of developing oral-pharyngeal cancers in a review of nine previous studies.

Oral-pharyngeal cancers typically are treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The overall survival rate for head and neck cancers is 57 percent.

So have that morning cup of Joe and hopefully you are accomplishing more than just getting your morning going.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Wednesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab