Ovarian cancer risk not affected by alcohol and smoking, but reduced by caffeine

January 22, 2008

A new study has found that cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption do not have an effect on ovarian cancer risk, while caffeine intake may lower the risk, particularly in women not using hormones. The study is published in the March 1, 2008 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Various studies have assessed the potential link between modifiable factors such as smoking or caffeine and alcohol intake and have generated conflicting results. To help clarify these associations, Dr. Shelley S. Tworoger, of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues examined ongoing questionnaire data from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-based Nurses’ Health Study, which includes 121,701 US female registered nurses. The Nurses’ Health Study cohort was established in 1976, when women aged 30-35 completed and returned initial questionnaires. Every two years, questionnaires are sent to the women to update exposure variables and document newly diagnosed diseases.

Dr. Tworoger and her co-investigators prospectively examined associations between smoking and ovarian cancer risk among 110,454 women and between alcohol or caffeine and ovarian cancer risk among 80,253 women, all followed between June 1, 1976 and June 1, 2004. For the smoking analyses, they identified 737 confirmed cases of epithelial ovarian cancer, and for the dietary analyses, they identified 507 cases.

There was no association between current or past smoking and ovarian cancer risk, however smoking status, duration, and pack-years were significantly associated with risk of mucinous tumors, a rare form of ovarian cancer. The authors also found no association between alcohol consumption and ovarian cancer risk. However they observed an inverse trend of risk with total caffeine and caffeinated coffee intake, but no association with decaffeinated coffee. The potential reduction in risk with higher caffeine intake appeared to be strongest for women who had never used oral contraceptives or postmenopausal hormones.

The authors concluded that “reducing alcohol intake and cessation of smoking is not likely to have a substantial impact on risk of ovarian cancer.” They add that “the possibility that caffeine may reduce ovarian cancer risk, particularly for women who have not previously used exogenous hormones, is intriguing and warrants further study, including an evaluation of possible biological mechanisms.”

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Explore further: Rucaparib boosts progression-free survival in BRCA mutant recurrent ovarian cancer

Related Stories

Rucaparib boosts progression-free survival in BRCA mutant recurrent ovarian cancer

September 8, 2017
Rucaparib maintenance therapy increases progression-free survival in BRCA mutant recurrent ovarian cancer by 77%, according to late-breaking results from the ARIEL3 trial reported today at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

Drug may curb female infertility from cancer treatments

September 1, 2017
An existing drug may one day protect premenopausal women from life-altering infertility that commonly follows cancer treatments, according to a new study.

Abdominal fat a key cancer driver for postmenopausal women

September 10, 2017
Body fat distribution in the trunk is more important than body weight when it comes to cancer risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

PSA screening significantly reduces the risk for death from prostate cancer

September 5, 2017
After differences in implementation and settings were accounted for, two important prostate cancer screening trials provide compatible evidence that screening reduces prostate cancer mortality. These findings suggest that ...

Risk-reducing mastectomy questioned for BRCA mutation carriers with prior ovarian cancer

July 11, 2017
Mutations in the BRCA gene correspond to a higher lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, and many women who carry these mutations consider undergoing mastectomy or removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes ...

Genetic tests help identify relative risk of 25 cancer-associated mutations

June 27, 2017
No one wants to hear that they have a mutation in their DNA associated with the development of cancer. But it may be even more difficult to accept that, in many cases, clinicians can't say whether or by how much that mutation ...

Recommended for you

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

September 22, 2017
Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, DNA repair and cell death. Thanks to the advances ...

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

September 21, 2017
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. ...

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Poliovirus therapy induces immune responses against cancer

September 20, 2017
An investigational therapy using modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors appears to unleash the body's own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter's the ability of cancer cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.