Best Life: Predicting prostate cancer

Updated: Mar. 5, 2020 at 8:39 AM CST
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men worldwide after lung cancer. But there are also 3.1 million men who are living with it. And, there’s not a lot that men can do to reduce their risk. Now, researchers have identified two new markers that could predict whether men will develop this cancer.

One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime with the average age of diagnosis at 66. And many of them won’t survive.

“Death from prostate cancer is at an all-time high… 29,000 deaths a year in the United States,” shared Daniel George, MD, Professor, Medicine & Surgery, Duke Cancer Institute.

Catching cancer early could greatly improve a man’s chances of living with it.

Dr. George continued, “As prostate cancer screening has decreased, we’ve actually seen men presenting with a little bit more advanced and aggressive disease.”

In a new study, researchers followed more than 200,000 men for six to seven years. They found the men with higher concentrations of two hormones in their blood, free testosterone and IGF 1, were more likely to develop prostate cancer over the course of the study.

Specifically, men with the highest levels of IGF 1 had a 25% greater risk and those with the highest free testosterone levels had an 18% higher risk. Other predictors that may raise the risk of prostate cancer include: being older or obese, having a family history of the disease, or being a black man.

In this study, the researchers say that because the blood tests were taken some years before the prostate cancer developed, it is likely that the hormone levels are leading to the increased risk of prostate cancer, as opposed to the cancers leading to higher levels of the hormones.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

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