Who knew that height can determine how at risk you may be for prostate cancer. It's what we call a "modest risk marker' but it's worthy of a look-see. For every 3.9 extra inches of height that a man has, the risk for developing prostate cancer increases by about 6%. So a man who is one foot (12 inches) taller than the shortest man in the study would, according to this study, have a 19% higher risk of developing prostate cancer. FINALLY........a great reason to want to be short (or to enjoy your shortness!!!) Not really. The conclusion is something far more subtle. Researchers think that factors that influence height may also influence cancer risk so we actually should think of height as a marker for factors that can cause cancer and look for those.
Sounds a bit like the Twilight Zone but that's how we discover new things about cancer And how we may come to cure it someday.
And as much as you - men and women - are being told that YOU NEED sources of CALCIUM because osteopenia and its more advanced stage osteoporosis must be prevented - too much calcium in the blood (of men) may increase risk of prostate cancer. Now too little calcium, we know, can cause uncontrolled muscle convulsions or contractions; too much calcium can cause a coma. So this new study has shed light on the fact that serum or blood calcium levels at the "high end of normal" is associated with a 3-fold risk of fatal prostate cancer.
What's wonderful about this risk factor is that unlike age, race, family history - all of which can't be changed or modified - serum calcium levels can be monitored and altered. And we already have drugs that can do that. And doctors tend to run routine blood tests when they see you for yearly physicals that include a serum calcium level. So for a change - great news we can use to save the lives of the men we love!!
Published On: September 08, 2008