Cancer of the mouth affects over 30,000 people in the U.S. each year and nearly 7,000 die annually from this malignancy. The American Cancer Society has been overseeing a long-term epidemiological study of nearly one million people since the early 1980s. When the study began, none of the subjects had cancer. After 26 years of follow-up, almost 900 had died from throat or mouth cancer. Analysis of the data collected showed that those who drank at least 4 cups of coffee daily were only half as likely to die from oral cancers.
The investigators are not suggesting that people start drinking coffee to prevent cancer, but they found this research intriguing. People who do regularly drink coffee may have one more benefit to add to the list to justify their java habit. Other health benefits from drinking coffee include lower risks of heart failure, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and cancers of the skin, prostate, or uterus.
[American Journal of Epidemiology, online Dec 9, 2012]