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Alcohol Use May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

By Gregory Echt

Men who are hoping to lower their personal risk for prostate cancer may want to evaluate their alcohol consumption patterns. Researchers have found a possible connection between alcohol intake and an increased risk for this disease that strikes an estimated 180,000 American men each year.

The research in question centered on a meta-analysis of data culled from more than 25 different studies conducted over the years. When researchers dove into possible risk factors connected with the disease, a link between alcohol and higher risk became evident. Researchers found that even low-volume drinkers who had only about two drinks a day witnessed about an 8 percent risk increase versus people who abstained.

The study indicates there are some measures men can take to lower their personal risks for developing prostate cancer. This particular form of cancer does have a number of risk factors men have no control over. Those factors include being a man, age, ethnicity, family history and inherited genetic changes. A man’s risk for the development of prostate cancer does tend to rise with age with most cases diagnosed after the age of 65.

An estimated 180,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. This condition claims about 26,000 lives. While preventing prostate cancer may not be entirely possible, there are steps men can take to reduce their mortality risks should the disease arise. The key to enhancing prostate cancer survival likelihood lies in routine testing for this disease. It is recommended that men begin routine testing around the age of 50 or so. Testing may include manual examinations of the gland and routine blood tests to gauge prostate-specific antigen levels.

Men who are concerned about their prostate cancer risk are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. Exactly when routine screening should begin will hinge on a man’s personal risk factors. For those hoping to lower risks, steering clear of overuse of alcohol may make a difference.

About Author

Dr. Echt and his team at the Prostate Seed Institute offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the United States, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. These include prostate seed implantation, high dose radiation implants, and external beam radiation with image-guided and intensity-modulated (IGRT and IMRT) capabilities.

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