Statistics indicate that breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. During 2015, nearly 30 percent of new cancers discovered in women will affect breast tissue. This equates to more than 231,000 thousand cases of invasive breast cancer and more than 60,000 cases of non-invasive cases. In addition, approximately 2,350 men are also expected to receive the frightening diagnosis. After recent studies performed by Lund University in Sweden, men and women may experience additional protection by merely drinking coffee.

Following surgery, physicians commonly prescribe tamoxifen hormone therapy to prevent growth of estrogen receptor-positive cancers. The medication binds with estrogen-receptor sites, which deprives malignant cells of the hormone needed for cell division and growth. Researchers at Lund University performed a lifestyle study involving coffee consumption in 1,090 breast cancer patients. Almost half of the participants were undergoing tamoxifen treatment.

The group was divided into low, moderate and high consumption categories. Low consumption was considered as drinking one cup of coffee or less daily. Moderate consumption involved drinking two to four cups of coffee daily. High consumption was defined as drinking five or more cups of coffee daily.

The research uncovered that among the cancer patients receiving tamoxifen, moderate to high coffee consumption decreased the chance of regrowth by one half. Patients consuming at least two cups of coffee daily had smaller tumors in addition to a lower number of estrogen-dependent tumors compared to individuals consuming less of the caffeinated beverage.

Following the initial study, researchers then focused on determining the effect that the active coffee ingredients caffeine and caffeic acid had on individual malignant cells. The scientists found that both compounds interfered with cell division and increased the chances of cell death in positive and negative estrogen-receptor cancer cells. Despite the fact that coffee has detrimental effects on certain breast cancers, the researchers warned against stopping tamoxifen therapy. If taking the medication, adding coffee to daily diets merely offers additional protection.

Other studies performed by various research groups found that many different chemical compounds contained in coffee display protective effects against cancer. Regular and decaffeinated coffee contain chlorogenic acid and other antioxidants that reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. Elevated insulin levels may encourage cell growth in cancers that need the substance to thrive. Cafestol and kahweol trigger the release of enzymes that inhibit proteins, which stimulate malignant cell growth thus making existing cells harmless.

The popular beverage also contains compounds known as lignans, which alter estrogen metabolism and various factors that contribute to cell growth. In this way, the compounds interfere with cancer cell development and growth while encouraging self-destruction of malignancies. Drinking up to six cups of coffee daily also seems to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers that affect uterine and liver tissues.