Sunday, July 19, 2009

Heavy drinking increases prostate cancer risk

Regular, heavy consumption of alcohol increases the risk of high-grade prostate cancer and reduces the effect of drugs used to tackle the condition.

Previous studies had reported older age, African-American race, family history of prostate malignancies, obesity, smoking and a high intake of animal fat to be the major risk factors contributing to prostate cancer.

A new study, however, reported that heavy drinking is also linked to prostate cancer. According to a study published in Cancer, men who drink four or more drinks per day at least five days a week are twice as likely to developing aggressive prostate tumors.

Finasteride, a medication which lowers the risk of prostate tumors by 43 percent, is believed to increase the risk of the condition by 12% among heavy drinkers.

Scientists therefore urge physicians to assess their patients' alcohol consumption before prescribing the drug finasteride.

They also recommended that individuals not drink more than two or three alcoholic beverages per day while taking finastride.