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Bone density linked to prostate cancer

CHICAGO, April 27 (UPI) -- Men with denser bones may be more likely to develop prostate cancer, U.S. researchers suggest.

Johns Hopkins researchers said recent research suggests women with high bone mineral density are at an increased risk of aggressive breast cancer. The findings prompted Dr. Stacy Loeb of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues at the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to question whether higher bone density was associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

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The researchers collected data on the bone mineral density of 519 men, measured from 1973 to 1984. They then checked the data again to see which men were eventually diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Loeb and colleagues found that the 76 men who went on to develop prostate cancer had bone density that remained significantly higher as they aged, compared to those who remained cancer free.

Although the reasons are unclear, Loeb speculates that growth factors in bone may contribute to prostate cancer growth. Additionally, bone density may reflect sex hormone levels in men, which can also affect prostate cancer development.

The findings are being presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting, or the concurrent Engineering & Urology Society annual meeting in Chicago.

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