Women who have had breast cancer halve the risk of it recurring if they drink two or more cups of coffee a day, researchers say.
They are also more likely to have smaller tumours and fewer hormone-dependent tumours, say researchers from Lund University.
They analysed data from 1,090 breast cancer patients, including the drugs they were taking and their coffee-drinking habits. Those drinking two or more cups a day had half the risk of recurrence compared to those who drank less or no coffee at all.
The researchers believe that two substances in coffee-the caffeine and caffeic acid-reduce cell division and increase cell death by switching off the 'signalling pathways' that cancer cells need in order to grow and divide.
Coffee also seems to super-charge the cancer drug, tamoxifen, which all the women were taking, and makes it more effective.
(Source: Clinical Cancer Research, 2015; doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-1748)