Researchers at the University of Nottingham have shown an association between certain past diagnostic radiation procedures and an increased risk of young-onset prostate cancer – a rare form of prostate cancer which affects about 10 per cent of all men diagnosed with the disease.
The study, the first of its kind to report the relationship between low dose ionising radiation from diagnostic procedures and the risk of prostate cancer, was funded by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) [Prostate cancer research] and is part of the UK Genetic Prostate Cancer Study (UKGPCS).
The study showed that men who had a hip or pelvic X-ray or barium enema 10 years previously were two and a half times more likely to develop prostate cancer than the general population. And the link appeared to be stronger in men who had a family history of the disease.
The research was led by Professor Kenneth Muir, from the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at The University of Nottingham, in association with Dr Rosalind Eeles at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Muir said: “Although these results show some increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer in men who had previously had certain radiological medical tests we want to reassure men that the absolute risks are small and there is no proof that the radiological tests actually caused any of the cancers.”
Four hundred and thirty one men, diagnosed with young onset prostate cancer – men diagnosed with the disease before the age of 60 – took part in the study.
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