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Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

HEAL member, The Association for Research and treatments Against Cancer (ARTAC’s correspondence on environmental causation of prostate cancer was published in the National Cancer Institute (JINCI). The article highlights that increases in incidence of prostate cancer globally are not only due to the improvement of screening techniques but due to environmental factors.

Summary - Re: Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment After the Introduction of Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening: 1986–2005 - the full article can be found here

Over-diagnosis associated with screening is considered to be the explanation for the growing incidence of a variety of cancers, including prostate and breast cancers. But if we analysed the incidence of prostate cancer much before 1986, we could observed in several European cancer registries with sufficient follow-up and record quality that the incidence of prostate and breast cancers were already increasing before the use of screening tests. For example in Norway there is a break point in the slopes of the incidence curves occurs between 1992 and 1993, which corresponds to when routine mam¬mography and PSA screening became stan¬dard practice in this country. Before the introduction of these tests (1953–1993), the number of prostate cancers doubled and that of breast cancers nearly doubled.

Other factors should therefore be considered to explain the growing incidence of these can¬cers. Indeed, endocrine disruption caused by environmental pollutants is a common mechanism of chemical carcinogenesis that might also account for a genuine growing incidence of both these two hor¬mone-dependent cancers. For example, mass production of the xeno-estrogenic polycarbonate plastic molecule bisphenol A has been shown to initiate and promote prostate cancer in laboratory animals, and this may be true in humans. So in this paper we suggest that in addition to overdiagno¬sis because of screening, the growing inci¬dence of prostate cancer may be associated with a genuine environment-related public health problem, as it may also be the case for breast cancer and nonscreened cancer types.

Last updated on 8 June 2011

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