In a nutshell
This study examined if exposure to certain environmental chemicals is linked to prostate cancer recurrence. This study concluded that environmental estrogens may increase the risk of prostate cancer recurrence.
Prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate) is a treatment option for localized (has not spread) prostate cancer. Some patients may experience biochemical recurrence (BCR) or clinical recurrence (CR) of cancer after surgery. This rise of PSA levels (a prostate cancer marker) without any signs of cancer is known as a BCR. BCR does not always mean patients will experience signs and symptoms (clinical recurrence) of the disease. However, patients with BCR after prostatectomy are considered as having a great risk of recurrence and progression of the cancer.
Some environmental chemicals found in insecticides have hormone-like properties. These include chlordecone which acts like estrogen (a mainly female sex hormone). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) may reduce the number of androgens made by the body. Along with PCB-153, which has both pro and antiestrogenic properties.
It is not known if environmental chemicals increase the risk of prostate cancer recurrence after prostate surgery.
Methods & findings
326 men were included in this study. All patients had undergone a prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer. They were followed up for an average of 6.1 years after surgery.
Patients exposed to chlordecone were 2.51 times more likely to experience BCR of prostate cancer. The risk was higher with increasing chlordecone levels in the blood. DDE and PCB-135 were not linked to prostate cancer BCR.
The bottom line
This study concluded that environmental estrogens may increase the risk of prostate cancer biochemical recurrence.
The fine print
The patients included in this study were from Guadeloupe. The results may not apply to other ethnicities. The use of chlordecone is now prohibited in many countries. However, chlordecone is slow to break down and remains in the environment.
Published By :
International Journal of Cancer
Mar 20, 2019
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