Environmental Issues For Prostate Cancer

July 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

It does not take a whole lot to tell that there is definitely a link between the environment and prostate cancer, although what the link is, is not always very clear ? but it’s there. For instance, researchers are beginning to identify environmental factors, such as workplace exposures to cadmium, as associated with an increased risk of prostate type of cancer, and the fact that some regions of the world have an increased incidence of the disease than others is simply not to be taken for granted.

So what exactly is it? Take a look at the distribution of prostate cancer incidence around the world. South and East Asia have a much lower rate than Europe and Canada, and South American nations definitely do not have as much prostate carcinoma as the United States does. It would appear as though the increased incidence of the disease is in countries that are more advanced industrially and commercially than others. Perhaps it has something to do with industrialization ? gasses and emissions that come from the industrial processes.

One study being carried out in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland is looking into ‘Environmental and heritable factors in the causation of cancer,’ and although not immediately evident as environmental issues for prostate cancer, over the course of time diet and lifestyle have surfaced as potential causal factors. They are already highlighted as risk factors for prostate type of cancer in the first instance anyway.

Certain foods, it would seem, increase the risk of prostate cancer, and other appear to lower it. Health experts now link a diet high in both saturated and unsaturated fats to greater risk of developing prostate malignant tumor, and there are now suggestions that nutritional interventions especially the adoption of a low fat diet, might prevent the development of symptomatic primary tumors. A 1982 medical panel therefore advised that people decrease their consumption of salt-cured and smoked foods, which have been linked to cancer in several sites; and that diets should include fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta carotene (a substance that is converted to vitamin A in the body), all of which may inhibit the formation of cancer-causing agents and reduce the risk of many cancers.

Speaking of lifestyle changes, many medical specialists now encourage balancing the goals of therapy with the risks of lifestyle alterations in order to achieve the best results. A 2005 study by Ornish, D; Weidner G, Fair WR, et al. published an article in the Journal of Urology about how “Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of prostate cancer,” in which it was suggested that the relationship may be a positive one. It is not much to go on, but it is a start. Until further studies reveal further details, these may be all there is to the link between the environment and prostate type of cancer risk.

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