Genitourinary and Reproductive Cancers

Several meta-analyses demonstrate that coffee consumption is not associated with breast, endometrial, ovarian, bladder, or kidney cancers.18-24 Most studies suggest that coffee consumption decreases the risk of prostate cancer by 10% to 53%.25-27

Skin Cancers


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Meta-analyses suggest that caffeinated coffee consumption decreases the risk of developing skin cancer, particularly basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.28-31 A meta-analysis that included over 37,000 nonmelanoma skin cancer cases demonstrated that high levels of coffee consumption significantly decreased the risk of disease compared with low consumption levels (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.75-0.89), which was attributed to basal cell carcinoma.28 

There was no association with decaffeinated coffee or tea. A meta-analysis that included over 927,000 patients found that regular coffee consumption significantly reduced the risk of melanoma compared with controls (RR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.63-0.89), but there was no association with decaffeinated coffee.30 Another meta-analysis, which included nearly 900,000 patients, demonstrated that high levels of coffee consumption significantly decreased the risk of melanoma (RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68-0.97) compared with the lowest level of intake, and there was no association with decaffeinated coffee.31

Other Cancers

Meta-analysis found no association between coffee consumption and cancers of the thyroid, pancreas, and adult glioma.32-35

Related Articles

In a meta-analysis of 8 prospective cohort studies and 13 case-control studies, coffee consumption increased the risk of lung cancer compared with nondrinkers (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.00-1.19), but was not adjusted for smoking status.36 There was no association between coffee consumption and lung cancer among never smokers. Another meta-analysis, which included 17 studies, also found an increased risk of lung cancer among those who consumed coffee compared with nondrinkers (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.03-1.33), particularly for those who drank high levels of coffee compared with low consumption levels (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.11-1.55), though these associations were attributed to case-control studies and not cohort studies, and were present among men but not women.37

The risk of liver cancer, however, was reduced with coffee consumption.38,39 A meta-analysis of 12 studies demonstrated a 44% decrease in risk of hepatocellular carcinoma with regular coffee consumption (RR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.55-0.78) and by 50% with high levels of consumption (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.43-0.58) compared with no or occasional consumption.38 Another meta-analysis found a similar reduction in liver cancer risk with high levels of coffee consumption compared with no or occasional consumption (RR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.44-0.67).39

Maternal consumption of coffee, regardless of the amount, was associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemias.40,41 In one study, any maternal coffee consumption during pregnancy significantly increased the risk of acute leukemia (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.04-1.43), including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.28-2.12) and acute myeloid leukemia (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.20-2.08).40 Another meta-analysis found similar results, with high maternal coffee consumption during pregnancy increasing the risk of childhood ALL (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.22-1.68) and AML (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.59-3.57). In this study, tea was not associated with leukemia.41

Conclusions

Most meta-analyses conclude that coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of cancer across many subtypes. Some studies noted a decreased risk of oral, colorectal, prostate, skin, and liver cancers with regular or high levels of coffee consumption. However, an increased risk of gastric cancers only among US populations, and a small increased risk of lung cancer, though the data are not of high quality, considering potential confounders and inconsistent results. Consumption of coffee during pregnancy may increase the risk of childhood leukemias.

Based on these data, it is unlikely that coffee consumption, even at high levels, increases the risk of cancer, and may be protective against certain cancer subtypes. Maternal consumption during pregnancy, however, should be avoided.

References

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