Breast cancer survivors who take Tamoxifen and drink two or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to have a recurrence, new research has found.
The study, conducted by medical scientists at Lund University in Sweden, tracked 600 breast cancer patients for five years and found those on Tamoxifen who were regular coffee drinkers reported half the rate of recurrence as non-drinkers.
The drug, a common hormone therapy after breast cancer surgery, reduces the risk of new tumors by blocking estrogen receptors, but how coffee interacts with the treatment wasn’t known. Until now.
"One theory we are working with is that coffee 'activates' Tamoxifen and makes it more efficient," said Maria Simonsson, a doctoral student in oncology at Lund University.
The researchers had previously linked coffee consumption to a decreased risk of developing certain types of breast cancer. Caffeine has also been shown, in other studies, to block the growth of cancer and stave off a range of other health conditions.
"We would like to know more about how lifestyle can interact with breast cancer treatment," said Helena Jernström, an associate professor of experimental oncology at Lund University.
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