Myth: Caffeine increases your risk of breast cancer.
No. Studies have found no link between the consumption of caffeine and an increased breast cancer risk. Rather, some studies have found that caffeine may actually decrease a person’s risk.
There have always been quite a few concerns surrounding the use of caffeine – some true and some false. You’ve probably heard people say that caffeine stunts your growth, or that it can dehydrate you, or make it difficult to get pregnant. And now it seems that people are saying caffeine can give you breast cancer. While it’s important that we all exercise caution around the substances we are putting into our bodies, it’s also important that we don’t give in to the “everything causes cancer” mentality and spread frightening rumours as a result.
So, here’s what you need to know about caffeine. Two studies, one Swedish and one German, studied thousands of postmenopausal women and their health histories – half that were diagnosed with breast cancer and the other half that were not. Here’s what they found:
- Women who drank at least five cups of coffee had 33-57% less likely to develop hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer post menopause
- Coffee drinking was also related to a lower risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer
Similarly, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study came to the same conclusion.
While there is no magical drink or food that can make you immune to breast cancer, these studies at least reassure us that caffeine doesn’t cause breast cancer. Drinking too much coffee can contribute to other negative health effects – but cancer isn’t one of them. So, as always, moderation is key, as well as the implementation of other daily activities and practices that can reduce your risk.