Possible link found between X-rays and prostate cancer

June 5th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have demonstrated the relationship between certain past diagnostic radiation procedures and an increased risk of young-onset prostate cancer – a rare form of prostate cancer which affects about 10 percent of all people diagnosed with the disease.
Research, the first of its kind to report the relationship between low dose ionizing radiation from diagnostic procedures and the risk of prostate cancer, funded by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) and is part of the UK Genetic Prostate Cancer Study (UKGPCS). The results of this study have been published online in the British Journal of Cancer.
Results showed that men who have a hip or pelvic X-ray or barium enema 10 years previously was two and a half times more likely to develop prostate cancer than the general population. And it seems the link was stronger in men who have a family history of disease.
This research led by Professor Kenneth Muir, from the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at The University of Nottingham, in association with Dr Rosalind Eeles at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Muir said: “Although these results indicate some increased risk of developing prostate cancer in men who previously had certain radiological medical tests we want to convince people that the absolute risk is small and there is no proof that the radiological tests actually caused one of the cancer.”
Four hundred and thirty one men, diagnosed with young onset prostate cancer – men diagnosed with the disease before age 60 – took part in this study.
Exposure to radiation is a part of normal medical procedures performed in 5, 10 or 20 before the diagnosis. Procedures included hip and leg X-rays, for example taken after the accident, and barium meals and enemas which are used to diagnose problems with the digestive system.
At this stage, the evidence linking diagnostic radiation procedures and prostate cancer is still weak. This study indicates that further investigation into this link should be done.
X-ray procedures used for diagnostic purposes to provide a very small amount of radiation per procedure. Its use is minimized in current medical practice. For most people X-rays do not increase cancer risk.


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