Coffee consumption and the risk of cancer: an overview

Cancer Lett. 2009 May 18;277(2):121-5. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.08.022. Epub 2008 Oct 1.


Habitual coffee drinking has been associated with a reduced risk of mortality and chronic diseases, including cancer. The favourable influence of coffee is supported by several plausible mechanisms due to the presence of a variety of biological compounds such as caffeine, diterpenes, caffeic acid, polyphenols as well as volatile aroma and heterocyclic substances. Current evidence suggests that coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of liver, kidney, and to a lesser extent, premenopausal breast and colorectal cancers, while it is unrelated to prostate, pancreas and ovary cancers. Coffee drinking may still help reduce death due to liver cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants* / adverse effects
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Coffee* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Protective Agents*
  • Risk


  • Antioxidants
  • Coffee
  • Protective Agents
  • Caffeine