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

Jan 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: New breast cancer imaging method promising

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Top US court sifts arguments on software patents

Mar 31, 2014

The US Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on whether patents can be enforced for software-created business practices, in a case likely to have a big impact on the tech sector.

Two studies find new genetic links to ovarian cancer risk

Sep 19, 2010

An international consortium of scientists has discovered new genetic variants in five regions of the genome that affect the risk of ovarian cancer in the general population, according to two separate studies published today, ...

Meat, fish and ovarian cancer risk

Apr 21, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- What do meat, fish and ovarian cancer have in common? More than you would think, says Dr Penny Webb from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR).

Study links obesity to elevated risk of ovarian cancer

Jan 05, 2009

A new epidemiological study has found that among women who have never used menopausal hormone therapy, obese women are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women of normal weight. Published in the ...

Recommended for you

New breast cancer imaging method promising

6 hours ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

6 hours ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery

A new study from investigators with the Autism Genome Project, the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with risk for autism, has found that the comprehensive use of copy number variant (CNV) genetic ...

Study suggests targeting B cells may help with MS

A new study suggests that targeting B cells, which are a type of white blood cell in the immune system, may be associated with reduced disease activity for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is released today ...

Study links California drought to global warming

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...