A new study has revealed a link between vitamin D deficiency and the development of prostate cancer.
Adam B. Murphy, of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, explained that there has been a marker discovered that cold lead to aggressive prostate tumors. "Vitamin D deficiency could be a biomarker of advanced prostate tumor progression in large segments of the general population," said Murphy.
600 men between the ages of 40-79, with elevated prostate-specific antigen, from the Chicago area, were studied. Each man was individually screened for vitamin D deficiency and then underwent a prostate biopsy. What the researchers found was that the men with the deficiency seemed to have a much higher chance of developing prostate tumors in the future.
Skin color was also a factor in the increased risk, along with the deficiency. African-American men, who had a vitamin D deficiency, were found to be 4.22 times more likely to have, or develop, a T2b tumor. European-American men were only 2.42 times more likely to develop this type of tumor. The color of the skin can contribute to how much sun is absorbed through the skin, and because the sun is the primary source of vitamin D, it helps to understand why African-American men stood a higher chance of developing the tumors.
This is the first study to examine vitamin D deficiency and the risks of developing prostate cancer, so many more tests are needed. However, the researchers are already urging men to get tested for the deficiency and be treated.
"This is the first study to look at vitamin D deficiency and biopsy outcomes in men at high risk of prostate cancer," Rick Kittles, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago explained. "These men, with severe vitamin D deficiency, had greater odds of advanced grade and advanced stage of tumors within or outside the prostate," Murphy later added.
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