Free Press Journal

Alcohol intake among youths leads to prostate cancer


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Mumbai: As per a new study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, consuming at least seven drinks of alcohol per week during adolescence can increase the risk of high grade prostate cancer later.  Heavy alcohol intake between the age of 15 and 19 increased the odds of this condition by 3.2 times. The prostate grows rapidly during puberty and is potentially more susceptible to carcinogenic exposure during the adolescent years.

Alcohol is linked to prostate cancer but with this study one may interpret that the effect of alcohol comes from a lifetime intake, or from intake earlier in life rather than alcohol patterns around the time of diagnosis of prostate cancer. Those who heavily consumed alcohol early in life typically are likely to continue to drink heavily throughout their entire life

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and can also spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body. Although the condition is curable, it can become life threatening if not appropriately managed on time.

Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Prostate cancer usually starts in the glandular cells and is known as adenocarcinoma. Tiny changes occur in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells. This happens slowly and does not show symptoms until it progresses further. This cancer most commonly spreads to the bones. Staging takes into account the size and extent of the tumor and the scale of the metastasis (whether it has travelled to other organs and tissues). At Stage 0, the tumour has neither spread from the prostate gland nor invaded deeply into it. At Stage 4, the cancer has spread to distant sites and organs.”

Some symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent or sudden need to urinate; discomfort when urinating; blood in urine or semen; and pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Various methods can be used for screening and diagnosis. Most important of them for screening high risk patients is the blood levels of prostate specific antigen. Other methods include rectal examination, CT, MRI, bone scan. Treatment options include radiation therapy and prostatectomy.”