Want To Ward Off Cancer? Brew Another Cup O'Joe

Cup of Coffee

That's right, your favorite vice could actually be good for you, says Dr. Nameer Mardini, oncologist with SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center. The World Health Organization recently concluded that drinking coffee regularly lowers the risk of at least two types of cancer – uterine and liver. There is no evidence that coffee increases the risk of other cancers.

That's not all. Early studies suggest that coffee drinkers actually live longer and have fewer heart attacks than non-coffee drinkers. They have lower risks of prostate and oral cancers.

"In the last few years many studies have been published looking at the link between coffee and other cancers," Mardini said. "There still needs to be more research to confirm these findings but it looks like coffee may have a protective effect against more than two types of cancer."

There's just one caveat: Any drink above 150 degrees Fahrenheit increases the risk of esophageal cancers.

"The solution to this is simple, instead of drinking piping hot drinks wait for them to cool down a little bit," Mardini suggested.

But is this a green light to hit the Frappuccino bar? Not exactly. While coffee itself is good for you, those tasty add-ins – sugar, syrups and creams – are not.

The solution is simple: Enjoy a straight espresso, black coffee, plain cappuccino or basic latte.

It's just what the doctor ordered.

Nameer Mardini, MD, MPH, is an oncologist at the SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center. He is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology.