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16 July 2008
X-rays Linked To Prostate Cancer
by George Atkinson

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found an association between X-rays done in the past and an increased risk of the otherwise rare young-onset prostate cancer a rare form of prostate cancer which affects about 10 per cent of all men diagnosed with the disease. The study, the first of its kind to report a relationship between low-dose ionizing radiation from diagnostic procedures and the risk of prostate cancer has just been published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The findings showed that men who had a hip or pelvic X-ray or barium enema 10 years previously were two and a half times more likely to develop prostate cancer than the general population. Moreover, the link appeared to be stronger in men who had a family history of the disease.

At this stage the evidence linking diagnostic radiation procedures and prostate cancer is still weak, but the study's leader, Professor Kenneth Muir, said that further investigation should be undertaken.

"Although these results show some increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer in men who had previously had certain radiological medical tests we want to reassure men that the absolute risks are small and there is no proof that the radiological tests actually caused any of the cancers," noted Muir.

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Source: University of Nottingham

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