Vidyya Medical News Servicesm
Vidyya, from the Sanskrit "vaidya," a practitioner who has come to understand the science of life.

Volume 1 Published - 14:00 UTC    08:00 EST    13-December-2000      
Issue 244 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST    14-December-2000      

Vidyya Home  Vidyya

Home Of Our Sponsor, Vidyya.  Vidyya. Home

Vidyya Archives  Vidyya Archives

Search Vidyya  Search Vidyya

Visit Our Library  Ex Libris

Subscribe To Our News Service  Subscriptions

All About Us  About Vidyya

Back To Vidyya Could Coffee Modify Cancer Risk?

Drinking Coffee Might Protect Smokers From Bladder Cancer

Drinking coffee regularly might protect smokers from bladder cancer, a new study suggests, finding that bladder cancer was about half as likely to occur in smokers who regularly drank coffee as in smokers who did not.

``This could suggest that the coffee consumption modifies the effect of tobacco smoking,'' said Dr. Gonzalo Lopez-Abente, the Spanish researcher who led the study, published this week in the London-based Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Experts not connected with the research had mixed reactions to the findings, however, ranging from the view that they highlight the often-unexpected protective benefits of substances found in food to the opinion that the study's methodology was flawed.

All agreed, however, that the best way to reduce the chance of getting bladder cancer is to stop smoking.

In the study, smokers who drank coffee still had triple the chance of developing the disease as nonsmokers who drank coffee. But smokers who didn't drink coffee were seven times as likely to get the disease as nonsmokers who did not drink it.

The possibility that coffee-drinking might offer some protection to smokers ``arose some years ago when we had observed that there could be a little increase of bladder cancer risk for coffee drinking, but this risk was only observable in nonsmokers,'' said Lopez-Abente of the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, Spain.

Smoking is recognized as a leading cause of bladder cancer. Experts estimate that about 50 percent of these cancers in men and 30 percent in women are due to smoking.

Cigarette use increases the risk for bladder cancer by two to five times and, when smokers quit, their risk declines in two to four years, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The Spanish study involved 497 people with bladder cancer, who were compared with 1,100 people without the disease. They were all asked about their smoking and coffee-drinking habits. Those who drank less than two cups of coffee a week were classified as non-coffee drinkers.

``The mechanisms suggested for the apparent protective effects of coffee are quite plausible,'' said Ian Johnson, head of intestinal physiology and cellular metabolism at the Institute of Food Research.

``But it is worth noting that substances found in vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts exert similar biochemical effects, and may be even more protective against tobacco-related cancers,'' Johnson said.

Dr. Robert Huddart, a cancer expert at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research in London said the study raises an interesting hypothesis that needs to be tested by other scientists before real confidence can be placed in it.

Dr. Annie Sasco, chief of epidemiology for cancer prevention at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, was less impressed.

``It sounds a little bizarre,'' Sasco said. ``There is nothing about potential other sources of caffeine, such as tea and Coca-Cola, and it's very strange to categorize people who drink two cups of coffee a week as non-coffee drinkers.''

``I don't find it very convincing at all,'' she said.

Vidyya. Home |  Ex Libris |  Vidyya  | 
Subscription Information |  About Vidyya |  Vidyya Archives | 

Vidyya Home |  Home Of Our Sponsor, Vidyya. | Vidyya Archives | Search Vidyya  | Visit Our Library | Subscribe To Our News Service | All About Us | Get Vidyya For Your Website
Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
© Vidyya. All rights reserved.