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Heavy, Daily Drinking Increases Risk Of High-Grade Prostate Cancer; Makes Preventive Drug Ineffective

08 July 2009 Wiley

Current research is inconclusive regarding the relationship between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk. Researchers led by Zhihong Gong Ph.D. of the University of California San Francisco, examined the associations of total alcohol, type of alcoholic beverage, and drinking pattern with risks of total, low- and high-grade prostate cancer.

They used data from more than 10,000 men participating in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT). They found participants who reported heavy alcohol consumption (≥50 g alcohol/day) and regular heavy drinking (≥4 drinks/day on ≥5 days per week) were twice as likely or more to be diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer (RR: 2.01, and 2.17, respectively). Less heavy drinking was not associated with risk.

They also compared drinking patterns with treatment outcome among men enrolled on this placebo-controlled trial of the drug finasteride. They found finasteride's ability to lower prostate cancer risk was blocked in men drinking <50g alcohol per day.

They conclude heavy, daily drinking increases the risk of high-grade prostate cancer and that heavy drinking made finasteride ineffective for reducing prostate cancer risk.

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