The search for magic food or drink, now the magic coffee–and colon cancer

This kind of observational nonsense is always in play in the media.

So What’s real, meaningful and what’s just randomness? Calling all witch doctors.

Coffee, colon cancer survival linked, study suggests
The “Well” blog of the New York Times (8/18, Rabin) reports that a study published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that colon cancer patients who consumed higher volumes of coffee each day “had a far lower risk of dying or having their cancer return than those who did not drink coffee.” The study showed that “significant benefits” began with two or three daily cups of coffee, and patients who consumed four or more each day “had half the rate of recurrence or death than noncoffee drinkers.”

On its website, NBC News (8/18, Fox) reports that Dr, Charles Fuchs of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said that the study of just under 1,000 patients found that “Those who drank coffee regularly had a better disease-free survival, meaning they had a lower rate of having their cancer recur or of dying.” He added that patients who drank other caffeinated beverages like soda had “a poorer outcome,” and decaf coffee and tea did not produce the same benefits. NBC News notes that the study was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

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