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Is prostate cancer caused by a virus?

On Tuesday, the Cancer Society will mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Day. The disease is diagnosed in six patients every day in Israel


A new study conducted recently by a group of researchers from the Universities of Utah and Columbia, examined 233 cases of prostate cancer patients, against a control group of 101 cases of a similar, healthy population. The results of the study show that the XMRV virus, which is known to cause leukemia in animals, and has not been found to date to cause cancer in humans - is found in the tissues of 23% of the prostate cancer cases examined. This compares to findings of the virus in the tissues of about 6% of the subjects in the healthy group. The virus was more dominant among those with the aggressive type of prostate cancer. The researchers noted that it is not possible to determine with certainty whether this virus is indeed the cause of the disease, and therefore further research is necessary. The research was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is a new finding that links the presence of the virus or its protein components to prostate tumors," explains Dr. Ofer Nativ, director of the urology department at the "Bnei Zion" medical center in Haifa and a consultant to the Cancer Society. "The results of the study can have implications for diagnosing prostate cancer, the course of treatment, predicting responses to treatment and perhaps even finding treatment in the future. However, it is important to emphasize that these are preliminary results that were only found in about a quarter of the patients, so that we must wait for more in-depth research to continue."

It should be noted that to date, several viruses have been discovered to cause certain types of cancer, such as the human papilloma virus, which is found to be the main cause of cervical cancer. Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in Israel. According to the data of the National Cancer Registry in the Ministry of Health 2007, every year about 2,200 patients are diagnosed with the disease - 6 patients every day, and about 400 die as a result of it.

Older age is a factor that increases the incidence rates. A family history that states that men whose father has ovarian cancer are twice as likely to get this type of cancer. Also, improper diet, drinking alcohol and smoking are suspected to increase the possible incidence, but more studies are needed to strengthen this assertion. In a recent study conducted at "Duke" University in the USA, a link was found between obesity and an increase in the risk of recurrence of the disease after removal of the prostate due to malignancy. Obesity was also found to be directly related to the risk of getting prostate cancer of the more aggressive type.

The chairman of the Cancer Society, Prof. Eliezer Robinson, Calling on men over 50 and men in the risk group, "not to die of shame", get to know the disease and its symptoms and contact their doctor for advice. "Prostate cancer develops mainly among men over the age of 50," explains Prof. Robinson. "This is a cancer that develops over years. Therefore, every man should be aware of the disease and its symptoms. Ask and inquire with his doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of the various tests. There is no reason to be ashamed, because detection and proper treatment may save lives."

On Tuesday, September 15.9.09, XNUMX, the Israel Cancer Society will celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness Day. On this day, the association will hold a seminar on the subject, free of charge, for cancer patients and their families, under the guidance of Prof. Ofer Nativ.

2 תגובות

  1. Interesting, where do you get such a figure, after all, only last year the discoverer of the papilloma virus and the connection between it and cervical cancer was awarded the Nobel Prize. What to do, there are also people who claim that there is no connection between HIV and AIDS, and that is why millions died in South Africa.

  2. It should be noted that opinions differ regarding the involvement of the papillomavirus in cervical cancer. The FDA issued a document that claims that no connection between the virus and cancer has been proven.

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