You Asked… Caffeine and Breast Health

You Asked… Caffeine and Breast Health

For many caffeine is awesome.  It is our morning ritual with a kick start to get us moving (that’s coming from women that work in a dark reading room all day).  It can have a seemingly magical effect – for some an absolutely necessary magic. But some of you asked – how does caffeine affect breast health?  


Don’t worry. There’s no evidence to suggest a link between breast cancer and caffeine (just when you were beginning to think that everything causes cancer…). Likewise, the consumption of caffeine in most women will have no effect on overall breast health and breast symptoms. In terms of breast density, there is no evidence that caffeine influences breast tissue density as determined on mammography one way or the other – coffee will not make your mammogram white!  


However, for a small group of women, breast pain, discomfort and sensitivity can be alleviated by reducing caffeine intake, and fibrocystic breasts can become less lumpy-bumpy. The only way to know if your symptoms are caffeine-related is a trial of going without or reducing caffeine consumption. If it makes a difference, you are in that subset of women. Only you can decide if the improvement in breast discomfort is outweighed by the effects of no caffeine!  


So… should you or shouldn’t you? Let it never be said that we stood in the way between a woman and her coffee! For the majority of us, caffeine will not affect breast health and symptoms. It will not change breast density on your mammogram. If you are suffering from breast pain or tenderness, a trial of cutting back might be worthwhile.




Image credit: Coffee Bar by Scott Beale via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Originally published 4/9/14 on