Heavy drinking may increase prostate cancer risk

July 15, 2009 in Cancer Prevention, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Heavy drinking may increase prostate cancer risk

Men who drink heavily may be boosting their chances of developing prostate cancer, researchers reported in a new study published online July 13, 2009 in the journal Cancer.

In this clinical trial of nearly 11,000 men, researchers looked at the how risk of prostate cancer and the effects of the prostate cancer drug finasteride were modified by men's alcohol consumptions.

After seven years, 2,219 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer while 8,791 remained cancer-free throughout the study.

Men who drank heavily - four or more drinks per day, on at least five days out of the week - were twice as likely as non-drinkers to develop aggressive prostate tumors. (One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or one 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor.)

In addition, when it came to less aggressive, slower-growing prostate tumors, finasteride cut non-drinkers' and moderate drinkers' risk by 43 percent - but the drug did nothing for heavier drinkers.

Many risk factors for prostate cancer can be improved by changing your diet and lifestyle- including obesity, smoking and a high intake of saturated fat from animal sources. In light of this study, heavy drinking may need to be added to the list.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.