The more caffeine you drink, the higher your risk of hormone negative breast cancer, according to a study published in the October 12, 2008 Archives of Internal Medicine. The research was part of the Women’s Health Study, with 39,310 participants who filled out a comprehensive questionnaire on their eating habits. This study looked at the links between caffeine intake—coffee, black tea, and colas primarily—and breast cancer.

Researchers assumed that the content of caffeine was 137 mg per cup of coffee, 47 mg per cup of tea, 46 mg per can or bottle of cola, and 7 mg per serving of chocolate candy.

The big caffeine Kahuna here, then, is coffee.

Twenty-four percent of the women never drank coffee; 13 percent drank less than a cup a day; 14.2 percent had two to three cups a day, and 15.4 percent had four cups a day. Yikes!

No matter the quantity, though, caffeine had no significant effect on hormone positive breast cancer. But the risk of hormone negative does go up with each cup of coffee. Likewise, the chance of having a tumor larger than 2 cm went up with increased coffee consumption.

Still, as is the case with many breast cancer studies, the number of cases of hormone negative breast cancers was so small that researchers didn’t have enough data to state conclusively that high caffeine leads to hormone negative breast cancer. These findings, they say, may be “due to chance and warrant further study.”

Until the data are in, though, it might be best to cut the coffee.

And, on a side note, most media notices I have read on this focus on the fact that caffeine does not lead to breast cancer, once again making generalizations about breast cancer while ignoring hormone negative.

One thought on “Caffeine Might Increase Hormone Negative Risk

  1. Anonymous says:

    In my late 20s and early 30s, my dr. diagnosed monthly bouts of very painful breasts as Fibrocystic Disease, and attributed this, and the immobilizing “first day cramps” to my high caffeine intake. I didn't give it a moment's considetation. Years later, caffeine-free soda came to be, so I decided to give his crazy idea a chance. Within a couple of months the symptoms were significantly minimized. That was in the late 80s, early 90s. Menopause behind me now, I went back on the caffeinated drinks – 2 cups of coffee every morning, diet colas throughout the day (and night), and tea now and then. Sept. 19, 2011, I heard the words, “You have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, and it's triple negative….” My oncology appt. is next, four chemo treatments, I was told by the surgeon at my follow-up visit this a.m. My daughter, who has been at my side through every step, found your blogsite this evening and caled to read some of the things you've shared. I was hanging on to every word. I am limited to using a cell phone to comment, but anxious to access a computer to better explore the information you have provided. I know so little, this is experience is quite unnerving, and there way too many questions and concerns aboit being “triple negative.” Thank you, Barbara Johnson jjohnsonbc52

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