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More than 18,000 Aussie males are predicted to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and a popular food could double men’s risk of getting this diagnosis, a study has warned.
Researchers found eating lots of dairy-based items might increase the likelihood of developing the disease later in life.
Dairy may increase the risk for prostate cancer, study finds
A paper published in Epidemiological Reviews suggests it could even double the risk for people who take in high amounts of dairy.
“In these studies, men with the highest dairy intakes had approximately double the risk of total prostate cancer, and up to a fourfold increase in the risk of metastatic or fatal prostate cancer relative to low consumers.” The researchers noted.
“It remains unknown which compound in dairy products might be responsible for this association.
“However, several recent studies which have been able to investigate nutrients more thoroughly suggest that calcium and perhaps phosphorus may play important roles.”
Previously there has been some data to suggest that it’s the fat content in dairy that is the risk factor.
In 2019 US scientists analysed data on 47 studies that looked at the diet of more than a million men.
They f0und men were between seven and 76 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer if they regularly consumed dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt.
The scientists seem to conclude that dairy raises levels of a key growth hormone and boosts calcium levels, both of which have been linked to prostate tumours.
“Research has not proven whether dairy or calcium has a direct effect on prostate cancer risk.” Cancer Research UK said.
“There are some studies that have found an increased risk in people who have large amounts of dairy. But there’s not enough good evidence for this.
“Eating and drinking milk and dairy can reduce the risk of bowel cancer.”
The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland, that sits around the urethra – the tube a bloke pees and ejaculates from – between the penis and the bladder.
One in six Aussie men will get prostate cancer by the time they hit 85 years old.
6 symptoms of prostate cancer to look out for
- Needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to pee
- Weak flow
- Straining and taking a long time while peeing
- Feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied fully
Keep an eye out for these symptoms as they likely won’t appear until the growth is big enough to put pressure on the urethra, and you want to catch it as soon as possible. If you catch it quickly and in the early stages your doctor will likely suggest a wait and watch policy rather than treatment.
If the cancer spreads beyond the prostate you may notice things like bone, back, or testicular pain, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss.
Treatment includes surgically removing the prostate, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy. With treatment, many patients will live long lives and not experience too many symptoms that negatively impact their lives.
Other patients aren’t as lucky and they may see the cancer spread, which is when the disease can turn deadly.
Prostate cancer currently kills over 3,000 men a year in Australia and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men.
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