Coffee and Cancer


Coffee appears to have some significant cancer fighting benefits.👏👏👏 According to 📚medical research, coffee is associated with a reduced risk of cancers. There’s even a study that found higher coffee consumption is associated with reduced mortality from colorectal cancer.

Several compounds found in coffee possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and insulin-sensitizing effects, which may contribute to anticancer activity.

In most studies 3 ☕️☕️☕️ or more cups daily provide better protection than 1 cup daily. If you are sensitive to caffeine you may have to limit your consumption, ilute the coffee, drink early in the day, or switch to naturally decaffeinated.

Coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of many cancers including endometrial cancer, liver cancer, head and neck cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, pharyngeal cancer, melanoma, skin cancer, kidney cancer, gastric cancer, leukemia, brain cancer, and thyroid cancer.

My preference is black coffee. There’s not much information about creamer concerns. I prefer stevia and monk fruit for sweetening if needed.

Coffee Cups

Since coffee is acidic, I make smart cup choice, most of the time, so that I don't have to fret when I can't make a safer choice. My choices are stainless, glass and ceramic. This helps me feel more relaxed when traveling, visiting a friend or family member, or camping.

I almost always refuse to drink coffee and other beverages out of paper and styrene foam cups. Hot beverages dissolve chemicals that increase the risk of cancer into our beverage.

I keep a stainless-steel cup in my truck, horse trailer, saddle bag and wife's van so I can make healthier choices most of the time.

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Hot Coffee in Paper Cups

Drinking hot coffee and tea from disposable paper cups has health risks. A microscopic assessment found about 75,000 micron-sized microplastic particles in a mug of hot water after 15 minutes. The researchers then used a scanning electron microscope and found over 30 billion sub-micron-sized plastic particles, too small for the more traditional microscope to see, after the same 15 minutes.

Analysis of the plastic films inside the cups showed the presence of the heavy metals lead, chromium, and cadmium in the liners. All 3 of these metals increase the risk of cancer.

I’d rather go without my cup of Joe than drink hot coffee from a paper cup.

Styrene Foam Cups

What could be worse than a good coffee in a paper cup? Perhaps a Styrene Foam Cup.

Styrene is one of the chemicals used to make foam cups. According to several national and international health organizations styrene is considered a probable carcinogen.

I’m sure many of you will testify that you can taste the foam in your hot coffee!

I have similar concerns about foam used for acidic beverages (sodas and teas) and hot foods. Reheating leftovers in foam containers, in the microwave could be a significant exposure to styrene.

Styrene exposure can be associated with:

  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • leukemia
  • liver cancer
  • gastric cancer
  • lymphoma
  • pancreatic cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Myeloid leukemia
  • Head and neck cancer

Ceramic or Glass Coffee Cups A source of lead?

High levels of toxic lead in our body increases the risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Lead exposure and toxicities still occur. Tap or click on this link to learn more from Consumer Reports.

Toxic lead can be found in some imported or older or antique glass ware and ceramic glazes. You can test for lead in your cups and plates with a test from home improvement stores or Amazon. It's important that the test kit states that you can test any surface. The test kits are inexpensive.  

There are over 15 recent cases in New York City several of which came from ceramic dishes. Should you find you have exposure to lead or if you just want to find out you can do a urine, blood or hair test. These are available from several labs including @mosaic_dx_ (Mosaic Diagnostics). A comprehensive toxic meta urine panel can cost about $320.

Coffee Pods - Are they safe?

Are coffee pods safe if you have a history of cancer? Several of the manufacturers say they have switched to a polyethylene plastic cup to make it safer. While I did not find medical research showing cancer concerns of heated polyethylene. Here are a few of my personal concerns:

⛔️Poking a hole in plastic

⛔️Running hot water through the hole in the plastic. Could we ingest some polyethylene plastic? What impact could that have in our body, over, let’s say 20 years?

⛔️We don’t know what materials are used in the paper filters.

⛔️Most people don’t take apart the cup so that they can be recycled.

To put my mind at ease my choice for 1 cup of hot #coffee is a stainless-steel filter pour over. I rarely use a coffee pod machine, just too many plastics.

Coffee ☕️ - What is Too Hot?

Hot coffee and tea have many benefits including reducing the risks of most cancers. But consuming extremely hot beverages, even good ones like coffee and 🍵 tea, increases the risk of esophageal cancer and gastric cancer.

Researchers believe hot beverages above a temperature of 149F/65C are linked to the risk of esophagus cancer. The theory is the hot beverages damage the cells or the DNA of cells so that they become cancerous.

My recommendation is to wait on the hot cup of Joe till it is no longer steaming. ♨️Steaming water is a precursor to boiling at temperature of 212F/100C. Hot coffee is often served at a temperature of over 160F/71C.

If my cup of hot coffee is steaming, I wait a few minutes. To help keep it at
proper temperature I typically use an insulated stainless cup, not plastic lined.

Not steaming hot or iced coffee and tea is Cancer Tactic ✅ Approved.


Coffee Reference Sources Include

Nigra AD, Teodoro AJ, Gil GA. A Decade of Research on Coffee as an Anticarcinogenic Beverage. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021;2021:4420479. Published 2021 Sep 15. doi:10.1155/2021/4420479

Mackintosh C, Yuan C, Ou FS, et al. Association of Coffee Intake With Survival in Patients With Advanced or Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. JAMA Oncol. 2020;6(11):1713-1721. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.3938

Ranjan, V. P., et al. (2020) Microplastics and other harmful substances released from disposable paper cups into hot water. Journal of Hazardous

Li Y, Lou J, Hong S, et al. The role of heavy metals in the development of colorectal cancer. BMC Cancer. 2023;23(1):616. Published 2023 Jul 3. doi:10.1186/s12885-023-11120-w

Yuan L, Shen P, Zheng S, et al. Analysis of living habit risk factors for esophageal cancer in central China: A bi-center case-control study. Front Oncol. 2023;13:1077598. Published 2023 Jan 24. doi:10.3389/fonc.2023.1077598

Blanc-Lapierre A, Sauvé JF, Parent ME. Occupational exposure to benzene, toluene, xylene and styrene and risk of prostate cancer in a population-based study. Occup Environ Med. 2018;75(8):562-572. doi:10.1136/oemed-2018-105058

Emission fluxes of styrene monomers and other chemicals for products containing expanded polystyrene beads. Atsushi Iizuka ,Atsushi Mizukoshi,Miyuki Noguchi,Akihiro Yamasaki Published: October 1, 2020

ATSDR – Public Health Statement: Styrene. (2017).

Styren-skader bliver svære at bevise. (2011). Retrieved 15 February 2017, from

Christensen, M., Hansen, J., Ramlau-Hansen, C., Toft, G., & Kolstad, H. (2017). Cancer Incidence in Workers Exposed to Styrene in the Danish-reinforced Plastics Industry, 1968–2012. Epidemiology, 28(2), 300-310. doi:10.1097/ede.0000000000000608

Castle L, Kelly M, Gilbert J. Migration of mineral hydrocarbons into foods. 1. Polystyrene containers for hot and cold beverages. Food Addit Contam. 1991 Nov-Dec;8(6):693-9. doi: 10.1080/02652039109374026. PMID: 1812015.

Masukume G, Mmbaga BT, Dzamalala CP, et al. A very-hot food and beverage thermal exposure index and esophageal cancer risk in Malawi and Tanzania: findings from the ESCCAPE case-control studies. Br J Cancer. 2022;127(6):1106-1115. doi:10.1038/s41416-022-01890-8

Loomis D, Guyton KZ, Grosse Y, et al. Carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, mate, and very hot beverages. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17(7):877-878. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30239-X

Li S, Wang J, Zhang B, Liu Y, Lu T, Shi Y, Shan G, Dong L. Urinary Lead Concentration Is an Independent Predictor of Cancer Mortality in the U.S. General Population. Front Oncol. 2018 Jun 29;8:242. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00242. PMID: 30013948; PMCID: PMC6036403.

Hore P, Alex-Oni K, Bardhi N, Sedlar S. Notes from the Field: Lead Poisoning in a Family of Five Resulting from Use of Traditional Glazed Ceramic Ware - New York City, 2017-2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;71(22):743-744. Published 2022 Jun 3. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7122a3


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