Japanese researchers have discovered a good reason for women to drink coffee – they say it protects them from cancer of the uterus.

Cancer of the womb, also known as endometrial or uterine cancer, is the fourth most common cancer among women and is highly curable if caught in its early stages.

It is commonly picked up during routine screening with Pap smears, TruTest, a biopsy or by dilation and curettage (D&C).

Symptoms can include abnormal bleeding, abnormal menstrual periods, bleeding between normal periods in premenopausal women, vaginal bleeding and/or spotting in postmenopausal women and women older than 40 and lower abdominal cramping or pelvic pain.

In a long term study conducted by Japan’s Health Ministry, 45,000 women aged between 40 and 69, were monitored over a 15 year period by researchers at Japan’s National Cancer Center.

The women had been divided into four groups based on their caffeine consumption and over the study period 117 women died from cancer of the womb.

The researchers discovered that those who drank more than three cups of coffee a day had a 60% less chance of developing tumours in the uterus compared to those who drank coffee less than twice a week.

The researchers believe that coffee reduces insulin levels and thereby also reduces the risk of cancer.

The team also examined the effects of drinking green tea, but found it appeared to have no bearing on the chances of developing cancer in the womb.

Source: News Medical