Coffee is helping patients deal with colorectal cancer better Image Credit: iStock

Drinking coffee may extend survival time in people with colorectal cancer, a new study suggests. Researchers studied 1,171 patients diagnosed with advanced or metastatic colon or rectal cancer who could not be treated with surgery. The patients completed diet and lifestyle questionnaires, including information about their coffee consumption, at the start the study.

Compared with people who drank none, those who drank a cup a day had an 11 percent increased rate of overall survival, and a five percent increased rate of living progression-free. The more coffee they drank, the better. Those who drank four or more cups a day had a 36 percent increased rate of overall survival and a 22 percent increased rate of surviving without their disease getting worse. Whether the coffee was decaf or regular made little difference.

A cup a day resulted in an 11 percent increased rate of overall survival Image Credit: iStock

The study, in JAMA Oncology, controlled for race, smoking, alcohol intake, aspirin use, diabetes, and the addition of milk, nondairy creamers or sweeteners to the coffee.

The co-lead author, Christopher Mackintosh, a fourth-year medical student at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, emphasised that drinking coffee is not a cure or treatment for cancer. “If a patient already drinks coffee,” he said, “they should feel fine about it. They won’t harm themselves. But I would not suggest that people begin drinking coffee to try to treat or prevent cancer.”

According to another report, high blood pressure may increase your risk for nosebleeds. Korean researchers studied 35,749 people, average age 52, with hypertension, and matched them to a control group of 35,749 with normal blood pressure. They tracked spontaneous nosebleeds in each group - that is, nosebleeds not caused by trauma, surgery or disease - over a period of 14 years.

Nose bleeds is now linked to hypertension Image Credit: iStock

Patients with high blood pressure had a 47 percent increased risk for nosebleed, and their bleeding was more severe: They were 2.7 times as likely to be treated in an emergency room, and more than four times as likely to require nasal packing, a procedure in which a device is inserted into the nasal passage and then inflated to expand and stanch the bleeding.

The reason for the association is not known, but the authors suggest that chronic damage to the blood vessels caused by hypertension may lead to bleeding. The study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

A co-author, Dr. Jae Ho Chung, a professor of otolaryngology at Hanyang University in Seoul, pointed out that the study included only people with no other bleeding risks. For hypertensive people with other risks - those who take blood thinners or low dose aspirin, for example - the risk is probably even higher. For those people, he said, “It would be especially recommended to be aware of the risk of nosebleeds.”