Researchers use environmental data to assess factors in the diagnosis of prostate cancer

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Environmental quality is related to advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Prostate cancer is heritable up to 57%, and the rest is attributed to environmental exposures. However, studies on these i aggressiveness had previously been limited. For his study, “Association between i cancer in diagnosis “, published in the journal Prostate cancer and prostate disease, the researchers matched data from the Environmental Quality Index, or EQI, and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Final Outcomes Program, or SEER.

Dr. Michael Abern, co-author of the study, associate professor and director of urological oncology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, said that by combining SEER and EQI data, the researchers found that lower environmental quality was associated with a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer.

The IQI combines data from multiple sources and reports a global quality index, in addition to five subdomains: air, water, land, buildings, and sociodemographics. Data are collected from sources such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality control.

“When we delved into the EQI subdomains, we found that some of the partnerships were stronger than others. Specifically, the land, water, and sociodemographic domains appear to drive the partnership more than the aerial or built domains,” he said. Abern. .

In addition, areas with low-quality terrestrial, water, and sociodemographic variables showed the strongest association with prostate cancer diagnosis at a later stage, which may mean worse treatment outcomes.

The study also found that race was an independent predictor of metastatic prostate cancer (cancer that has spread) at the time of diagnosis, with black men at higher risk. This risk is further heightened when combined with living in an area with low environmental quality.

According to the study, there were more than 174,000 recently diagnosed cases of prostate cancer and more than 31,000 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States in 2019, making it the most common non-cutaneous malignant disease in men. . When diagnosed early, prostate cancer has a 100% five-year survival rate.

Although there have been other studies exploring environmental exposures, they often compare an individual agent and an individual exposure. The use of EQI and SEER offers a more complete ecological analysis to better represent it and the relationship to advanced prostate cancer, according to the study. Because the EQI also examines sociodemographic variables, it is necessary into account.

“They’re actually measuring infrastructure and barriers to getting health care,” Abern said.

Abern said the study provides the opportunity to hypothesize why diagnoses of late-stage prostate cancer are higher in certain areas and then delve deeper into the components of environmental variables to try to find solutions. such as changes in environmental policy.

It is well established that age and black race are risk factors for developing prostate cancer, in addition to genetic risk factors, including a family history. An important distinction can be made between incidence and aggression, Abern said, and this study focuses on the aggressiveness of prostate cancer.

“When I see a patient with prostate cancer, I guess maybe he got it for something he did. Probably not. Not much is known about the personal life choices that lead to prostate cancer. The diet, the Exercise and smoking have never had a very strong association with the prostate “Abern said.” Seeing a doctor and getting a test exam is still the most important thing to get the diagnosis. ”


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More information:
Hari T. Vigneswaran et al, Association between environmental quality and prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis, Prostate cancer and prostate disease (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41391-021-00370-z

Citation: Researchers Use Environmental Data to Assess Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Factors (2021, May 20) Retrieved May 20, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-environmental-prostate-cancer -diagnosis-factors.html

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