Heavy Alcohol Use Early in Life Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emma H. Allott, PhD Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition UNC GILLINGS SCHOOL OF GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH  University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

Dr. Emma Allott

Emma H. Allott, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition
UNC GILLINGS SCHOOL OF GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prostate cancer development may span decades. In addition, the prostate grows rapidly during puberty and therefore may be particularly susceptible to dietary or lifestyle factors during this time.

Our study found that heavier alcohol intake earlier in life, as well as higher cumulative alcohol intake across the lifespan, was associated with an increased odds of being diagnosed with an aggressive (clinically significant) prostate cancer in later life. However, current alcohol intake at the time of prostate cancer diagnosis was unrelated to tumor aggressiveness.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: It is premature to make any recommendations based on the results of our study alone, and further research is required. However, the World Cancer Research Fund recently issued a recommendation to limit or avoid alcohol for the purposes of cancer prevention. This recommendation is based on the more established role of alcohol in risk of oral and gastrointestinal cancers but, if confirmed, our findings with respect to prostate cancer may lend support to this recommendation

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Relatively few risk factors for prostate cancer have been identified. Given that lifestyle patterns can change as a person ages, it is possible that many studies have failed to identify risk factors for prostate cancer by examining lifestyle patterns too close to diagnosis. Future studies should endeavor to collect data regarding earlier and mid-life drinking patterns in addition to other dietary and lifestyle behaviours throughout the lifecourse.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This is not the first time that early life factors have been found to potentially contribute to prostate cancer risk later in life. There is evidence from other studies that taller childhood height and obesity are linked with increased prostate cancer risk and mortality later in life.

Disclosures: None of the authors had any conflicts of interest to disclose.

Citation: Cancer Prevention Research

Early-Life Alcohol Intake and High-Grade Prostate Cancer: Results from an Equal-Access, Racially Diverse Biopsy Cohort
Jamie Michael, Lauren E. Howard, Sarah C. Markt, Amanda De Hoedt, Charlotte Bailey, Lorelei A. Mucci, Stephen J. Freedland and Emma H. Allott
DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-18-0057
August 23, 2018
doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-18-0057

Aug 24, 2018 @ 10:38 pm

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