Study on benefits of coffee in preventing oral cancer requires follow-up research, Loyola dentist says

December 18, 2012

A recent study from the American Cancer Society purports that heavy coffee drinkers may reduce the risk of dying from mouth and throat cancer by half, but one dentist is not raising a coffee cup in support.

"I do not recommend that my patients drink coffee," said Martin Hogan, DDS, Loyola University Health System. "The study does suggest benefits, but I would like to see more studies done to prove this correlation."

Coffee, along with tea and red wine, is a top cause of damage to .
"As with any study, there are always variables that are not documented, such as alcohol consumption and tobacco use, which are top causes of oral cancer," said Dr. Hogan, who regularly assists in the diagnosis of oral cancer and works with oncological patients at Loyola. According to Hogan, risks for oral/pharyngeal cancers include , smoking, , biological factors such as fungi, viruses such as HPV (especially strain 16 for oral cancers) and physical factors including exposure to UV radiation and exposure to X-rays.

Many patients dismiss the early signs of oral cancer and do not report symptoms until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. "Oral cancer signs range from chronic sores in the mouth that do not heal to difficulty swallowing and many patients do not think they are a big enough deal to seek medical attention," Hogan said .

Common signs of oral/pharyngeal cancer include:

  • A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils or lining of the mouth
  • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Chronic hoarseness
The growing trend of also is taking a toll on oral health.

" and soda are also big offenders of dental disease and actually are less damaging if they are consumed at one sitting as opposed to continuously sipping the drinks over the course of an afternoon," he said. "Sipping prolongs the exposure of the teeth to the sugary and/or acidic liquids and increases the damage to the teeth."

Loyola's Oral Health Center provides full dental services including general dentistry and preventive care for adults and children, and oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Explore further: Dentists play key role in detecting oral cancer

Related Stories

Dentists play key role in detecting oral cancer

April 7, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Not only do regular dental exams help keep your teeth and gums healthy, they can help detect oral cancer, the Academy of General Dentistry says.

Caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of oral cancers

December 10, 2012
A new American Cancer Society study finds a strong inverse association between caffeinated coffee intake and oral/pharyngeal cancer mortality. The authors say people who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per ...

HPV pushes UK oral cancer cases past 6,000 a year

March 16, 2012
The number of oral cancer cases diagnosed each year in the UK has risen above 6,000 for the first time, new figures from Cancer Research UK show today.

Head and neck cancer -- what you need to know

April 21, 2011
It is estimated that 40,000 men and women in the United States will develop head and neck cancer in the coming year. Head and neck cancer involves the cells that line the mucosal surfaces or moist tissue lining in the head ...

Recommended for you

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

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.