Swedish and British researchers teamed up to test whether coffee could help prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. That was two years ago; now they are saying coffee actually protects against the recurrence of breast cancer, especially in patients taking the drug tamoxifen. “The study shows that those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day had smaller tumors and a lower proportion of hormone-dependent tumors,” said Ann Rosendahl, researcher at Lund University and co-author of the report in the medical journal Clinical Cancer Research. In a study of nearly 1100 women, of whom more than 500 who were also taking tamoxifen, caffeine affected the signals to breast cancer cells, slowing cell proliferation and increasing cell death. “For the tamoxifen-treated women who drank at least two cups of coffee a day, the risk of relapse is almost half that of those who drank a small quantity of coffee or no coffee at all,” said Rosendahl. The Swedish-British study included only women who have already been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, but the researchers also observed that coffee may have a broader preventive effect.