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Coffee 'may cut risk of mouth cancer'

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Drinking four or more cups of coffee a day can cut the risk of mouth and throat cancer by nearly 40%, according to researchers.

US research analysed the findings of nine studies into head and neck cancers, comparing those who drank coffee with those who did not.

They found those who had four or more cups a day cut their combined risk of developing both diseases by 39%.

Drinking tea was found to have no effect, while the data on decaffeinated coffee was too sparse to be of use, the researchers said.

Lead researcher Dr Mia Hashibe, from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, US, said: “Since coffee is so widely used and there is a relatively high incidence and low survival rate of these forms of cancers, our results have important public health implications that need to be further addressed.

“What makes our results so unique is that we had a very large sample size, and since we combined data across many studies, we had more statistical power to detect associations between cancer and coffee.”

The findings are reported online by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, published by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

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