What coffee really does to your cancer risk

When it comes to coffee and cancer, you get a lot of mixed messages…

Several recent studies show that coffee can reduce the risk of breast cancer, liver cancer, and oral/pharyngeal cancer, among other types.

Yet, there was that whole controversy in California last year…

Coffee shops were required to post carcinogen warnings because coffee contains acrylamide, a chemical that forms naturally in certain cooked foods and is linked to cancer in rats.

So, there are probably a few questions on your mind, like: Can you enjoy your morning cup of Joe without worrying that it causes cancer? Should you be drinking more coffee to help prevent cancer?

Clearly, these are confusing times for coffee lovers. But I have some information that’ll make things less confusing…

A new study shows that you can drink your coffee without a single cancer-related thought crossing your mind… because it has no effect on your cancer risk whatsoever.

Coffee doesn’t decrease (or increase) cancer risk

This may be good or bad news depending on your current beliefs about coffee and cancer, but a recent study from researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia shows that coffee doesn’t raise or decrease your cancer risk.

Researchers looked at data from more than 300,000 people. First, they looked at how much coffee people said they drank to see if it affected their cancer risk. It didn’t. Then they looked at people with a genetic predisposition to drink more coffee (yes, that’s a thing). That didn’t impact cancer risk either.

They even looked at several individual types of cancer like breast, ovarian, lung and prostate cancer. But coffee didn’t increase or decrease the risk of those either. But there was still a question mark around colorectal cancer…

They found that drinking coffee may slightly decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. But having the genetic predisposition toward drinking more coffee may slightly raise the risk. So, in the end, it was a wash. They need more research to know for sure if there’s any connection (good or bad) between coffee and colorectal cancer. But either way, it appeared to be a very small connection.

Sip that dark roast worry-free

So, now you can drink your coffee with a clear conscience. You’re not putting yourself at risk for cancer. But you’re not preventing it either.

Coffee seems to be a cancer-neutral beverage… a fact I think most coffee lovers will be just fine with. But if you’re disappointed coffee doesn’t offer any anti-cancer perks, let me remind you about a few of the other diseases it does reduce the risk of:

  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis

And if you really want to drink something that might offer some cancer-fighting insurance, consider green tea. Research at Penn State shows that a natural chemical found in green tea beneficially attacks proteins in oral cancer cells but does not harm healthy cells.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!


  1. Daily coffee doesn’t affect cancer risk — MedicalXpress
  2. Association between coffee consumption and overall risk of being diagnosed with or dying from cancer among >300 000 UK Biobank participants in a large-scale Mendelian randomization studyInternational Journal of Epidemiology
  3. 13 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science — Healthline
  4. Can Coffee Prevent MS? — WebMD
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.