A new study suggests it’s a far cry from that.
Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), researchers report that the condition may actually offer some protection for men from developing prostate cancer.
“Men are often concerned about prostate cancer, as it is the second most common type of cancer in men, with some concerned that BPH increases the risk of prostate cancer,” said lead researcher Dr. Kieran Nandalore. He is deputy chief of diagnostic radiology and molecular imaging at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.
“Some previous studies have shown that BPH may increase the risk of cancer, due to shared driving forces such as genes, hormones, and ignite. Our study should allay their concerns because BPH may reduce their odds of developing prostate cancer, Nandalore said.
BPH is common in aging men and can cause a frequent need to urinate, often at night, or poor blood flow. Pee. This is because the central part of prostate It swells and can prevent urine from leaving bladder.
Surprisingly, Nandalore explained, as the prostate continues to enlarge, the odds of developing prostate cancer decrease.
“Moreover, BPH reduces the odds of not only one cancer focus, but also more than one site. Based on these findings, BPH may produce mechanical stress throughout the gland, which inhibits cancer growth and reduces the odds of prostate cancer,” he added.
For the study, Nandalore’s team collected data on 405 men with BPH and looked for evidence of prostate cancer on MRI of prostate tissue.
Researchers found that as the prostate increased in size, the risk of prostate cancer decreased. They noted that for every 1 cubic centimeter increase in prostate volume, the risk of prostate cancer decreased by about 3%.
“The central gland size of BPH may aid risk grading for patients with prostate cancer,” Nandalore said. “Currently, patients with prostate cancer are categorized into low, medium and high risk, with central gland contributions not taken into account. In the future, the degree of BPH as measured on MRI of the prostate may also be a contribution to help determine the prognosis and course of psychotherapy. “
Some commonly used BPH medications are called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors – including Finasteride (Proscar) – Reducing the size of the prostate, a drug safety warning from the US Food and Drug Administration because it has been found to increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer, Nandalore.
“Our study found a possible explanation for the results, as reducing the size of the prostate with these medications may lower pressure throughout the gland and possibly allow cancer to grow. These are very useful medications for treating BPH, but caution should be exercised,” Nandalor said.
Dr. Anthony D’Amico, Professor radiation An oncologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston said he would take these study findings with a grain of salt.
“I will approach this very carefully,” D’Amico said.
These findings could be produced because BPH makes it more difficult to detect cancer with a biopsy, D’Amico said. “BPH can make it more difficult to find cancer because your needle is now going into a much smaller area. So I think it’s interesting, it might be something, but definitely not something I would call conclusive at this time,” he explained.
However, he said the findings may have a biological explanation. “If you have a lot of BPH that competes with prostate cancer for growth factor, then maybe prostate cancer has growth defects,” D’Amico said. “This is a biological hypothesis, but it has not been proven.”
D’Amico advises men with BPH to have an MRI and biopsy To make sure there is no cancer.
“If you have a large prostate, I wouldn’t assume that any cancer in your prostate would be clinically insignificant,” he said. “You should still have an MRI and fusion biopsy to rule out clinically significant disease,” he said. “This study is interesting, but not conclusive.”
The report was published online August 10 in the journal prostate.
To learn more about prostate cancer, head over to American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: Kieran Nandalore, MD, vice president of diagnostic radiology and molecular imaging, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan; Anthony D’Amico, MD, PhD, professor of radiation oncology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; prostate, August. 10, 2021, online