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History of Heavy Drinking Linked to More Aggressive Prostate Cancer

A small study suggests that among those men who’ve received a prostate cancer diagnosis, those with a history of drinking at least seven drinks per week have higher chances to develop an aggressive tumor than nondrinkers.

The research unveiled that such men had an increased high-grade tumor risk regardless of whether they drank heavily while at 15 to 19 years, or later on. However, there was no connection between tumor grade and the current alcoholic consumption.

Initially, the study’s main purpose was to determine the youngest age group in the hope that alcohol may have a deleterious impact on the growing prostate. However, the researchers also saw a high risk in most of the years up to midlife. This explains the significance of looking at the entire lifespan to find out if alcohol plays any role in the aggressiveness and development of prostate cancer.

The study

  • The researchers collected data from 650 men who were going through prostate biopsy between 2007 and 2018. They studied veterans (49-89 years) that didn’t have a prior history of prostate cancer.
  • The study had a diverse population with 54 percent of them being non-whites. Experts suggest this is essential as the cancer is known to mostly affect African Americans.
  • Combined with information from biopsies of the participants’ tumors, was data on alcoholic consumption and other lifestyle and medical factors, which were obtained from the questionnaires filled by the men.
  • The research also included a look at the lifetime alcohol exposure and discovered more than three times high risk of a high-grade tumor among men who consumed over 10.660 drinks a week.
  • This study wasn’t big enough for investigators to tell whether the drinking styles of men had an impact, but hints on the risks associated with alcohol exposure.