What are the risk factors?

While family history is the best established risk factor for prostate cancer, other factors come into play: age (approximately 70 years at the time of diagnosis) and an African or Caribbean origin. In the latter case, prostate cancer may have been favored by exposure to chlordecone, the pesticide long used in banana cultivation. Since last December, prostate cancer has been recognized as an occupational disease for exposed agricultural workers.

Several research teams are also interested in other possible risk factors, such as diet (the role of dairy products is regularly questioned in the onset of prostate cancer), or waist circumference. Abdominal obesity is associated with risk). In the United Kingdom, researchers at the University of East England have sought to determine which bacteria have played a role in the evolution of prostate cancer.

Bacteria, causes or consequences?

They therefore studied urine and tissue samples from more than 600 men with or without prostate cancer, and then developed methods to determine if certain bacteria were associated with aggressive prostate cancer. . The authors of the study, published in the journal European Urology Oncology, found that in fact, five specific types of bacteria were linked to the presence of higher degrees of prostate cancer and rapid progression to disease. aggressive.

But before formally establishing a causal link between the presence of these bacteria and aggressive prostate cancer, several questions remain unanswered: “We still don’t know how people get these bacteria, if they’re the cause.” cancer or a poor immune response allows them to grow, ”said Dr. Rachel Hurst, lead author and associate researcher at Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia, in a statement.

Further research is therefore needed to establish whether these bacteria are the cause or consequence of these cancers. “We hope to find out, and our future work may lead to new therapeutic options that could slow down or prevent the development of aggressive prostate cancer,” she added. “Our work can also lay the groundwork for new tests, which use bacteria to prevent the most effective treatment for cancer in every man. »

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