High-Dose Multi-vitamin Use and Risk of Prostate Cancer.
Source: J Nat Canc Instit.
Date to be Archived:8/6/2007
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, excluding skin cancer, in men in the United States. It is primarily diagnosed in men over 65, although it may begin much earlier. Some cancers of the prostate are very slow growing, while others behave aggressively. Prostate cancer often metastasizes to other tissue, including the brain, lungs, lymph nodes, and bones. Early detection is critical in order to increase the chances for survival. The cancer can be felt upon digital rectal examination (DRE). These examinations are recommended routinely for all men over the age of 50 and high-risk men should commence at age 40.
Little is known about the causes of prostate cancer. Risk factors for prostate cancer include family history and African-American race. While most prostate cancers are found in the peripheral zone, they may occur anywhere in the prostate. Most pathologists use the Gleason grading system to assess the tumor progression. A score from 2 to 4 indicates a well-differentiated cancer; 5 to 6 correlates with a moderately differentiated cancer; and 7 to 10 indicates a poorly differentiated cancer. The poorer the differentiation of the cancer cells (the higher the score), the worse the prognosis. Well-differentiated tumors grow slowly, whereas poorly differentiated tumors grow rapidly and are associated with a poor prognosis.
A recent study stated that although multi-vitamin use throughout the United States is very common, little is known about the relationship between the use and prostate cancer. This study involved over 295,000 healthy men taken from the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study, 1995-1996. After 5 years of follow-up, over 10,000 men were diagnosed with some type of prostate cancer. A separate analysis over a 6 year follow-up, showed 179 cases of fatal prostate cancer. Participants used a self-administered food frequency questionnaire to record multi-vitamin use at the beginning of this study. The results did not show any association between supplement use and localized prostate cancer, however an increased risk was seen in advanced and fatal cancers. This was seen in those who took multi-vitamins more than 7 times per week when compared to those that did not use vitamins. The authors concluded that, “These results suggest that regular multivitamin use is not associated with the risk of early or localized prostate cancer. The possibility that men taking high levels of multivitamins along with other supplements have increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancers is of concern and merits further evaluation.”1
1. Lawson KA, et al. Multivitamin Use and Risk of Prostate Cancer in the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study. J Nat Canc Instit. May 2007;99(10):754-64.
Search Research News Articles
Enter Search Term: