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Dairy products linked to high prostate cancer risk

230px_Milk_wiki_127846720.jpgThe Food and Drug Administration has reportedly approved a therapeutic vaccine indicated to treat advanced prostate cancer, according to media reports.

This vaccine known as Provenge doesn't prevent cancer. It gives patients with advanced prostate cancer four more months to live, said Philip Kantoff of Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who conducted a trial of 512 men.

The trial results showed 32 percent of men receiving Provenge were still alive after three years compared with 23 percent among those who received a placebo.

Dendreon, the vaccine's maker said the prostate cancer vaccine will cost $93,000 for three shots per patient.

More than 175,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the United States.  Many prostate cancer cases may be avoided if some risk factors are avoided.

It is not completely known what cause prostate cancer.  Some studies suggest drinking too much milk may increase the risk.

A new study published in the March 15 2010 issue of Prostate hints that eating too much dairy products may raise risk of prostate cancer.

The study led by Raimondi S and colleagues from European Institute of Oncology in Italy showed that those with increased intake of dairy products were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.

The researchers assessed intake of dietary components like diary products and dietary calcium and found the association in the study participants.

This study is not a trial, meaning that eating dairy products may not be the actual cause for the increased risk of prostate cancer.

For the case-control study, Raimondi et al. surveyed 197 cases and an equal number of controls recruited in Montreal, Canada for their consumption of more than 200 food items.

In addition to the positive association between dairy products and risk of prostate cancer, the researchers discovered that legumes, nuts, finfish/shellfish and alpha-tocopherol were associated with significantly reduced risk of prostate cancer risk.

Among dairy products, milk was the the only dairy product that was found associated with 127 percent increased risk in those who had the highest quartile of consumption compared with the lowest quartile of consumption.

Calcium, found in diary products, showed a borderline association with prostate cancer risk, with slightly higher risk associated with high calcium intake.

The researchers suggests that "the study supports the hypothesis that diary products, especially milk are involved in the etiology of prostate cancer."

David Liu

Photo credit wikipedia