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Folic Acid And Prostate Cancer

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Avoiding Risk Factors And Increasing Protective Factors May Help Prevent Cancer

Folic acid may cause cancer: Dr. Napoli discusses disturbing new research

Avoiding cancerrisk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.

Prostate Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Prostate

The prostate is agland in the malereproductive system. The prostate is just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra . The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

As men age, the prostate may get bigger. A bigger prostate may block the flow of urine from the bladder and cause problems with sexual function. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia . BPH is not cancer, but surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of BPH or of other problems in the prostate may be like symptoms of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Is The Second Most Common Cancer Among Men In The United States

Prostate cancer is most common in older men. In the U.S., about one out of every 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die of it.

See the following PDQ summaries for more information about prostate cancer:

  • Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer.
  • The following risk factors may increase the risk of prostate cancer:
  • Age
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Race
  • The following protective factors may decrease the risk of prostate cancer:
  • Folate
  • Finasteride and Dutasteride
  • The following have been proven not to affect the risk of prostate cancer, or their effects on prostate cancer risk are not known:
  • Selenium and vitamin E
  • Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer.
  • New ways to prevent prostate cancer are being studied in clinical trials.
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    What You Need To Know About The Prostate Folic Acid And Males Prostate Cancer

    The main purpose of the prostate is to produce semen, a milky fluid that sperm swims in. During puberty, the body produces semen in a large number of cases, including enlarged prostate. This fluid causes the prostate to swell and cause a number of bladder-related symptoms. This is why the prostate is important to the body. It can be caused by many factors, including infection and inflammation.

    A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

    While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

    Cancer Symptoms: Top 14 Early Signs To Look Out For

    Does Folic Acid Promote Prostate Cancer?

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    Cancer is ferocious: once cells become cancerous, they tend to spread rapidly. This undermines the effectiveness of treatments, which in turn leads to poor survival outcomes. Finding ways to mitigate the threat in the first place is therefore best.

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    Folic Acid Supplements Linked To Prostate Cancer Risk

    This article was published more than 13 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.

    New research suggests that men who take folic acid supplements may be putting themselves at significantly greater risk for developing prostate cancer, which raises fresh questions about the safety and efficacy of taking vitamins for disease prevention.

    The findings add to a growing body of evidence that too much folic acid may not protect against certain types of cancer.

    The study involved nearly 650 men who either took daily folic acid supplements of one milligram or a placebo. Researchers, who followed the men for about 10 years, found those who took folic acid supplements had a risk of developing prostate cancer double that of those who took placebos.

    “We didn’t expect it to be harmful,” said Jane Figueiredo, assistant professor of preventative medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

    “But it’s sort of like a threshold effect. If you get too much, we now know the safety of chronic high exposure to folate might not be as good as what we hoped for.”

    The study, published online yesterday at the Journal of the National Cancer Institute website, was conducted using research collected for an earlier study examining the links between folic acid, aspirin and colorectal cancer.

    But a growing amount of evidence indicates too much folic acid – particularly more than one milligram a day – may do more harm than good.

    Prostate Cancer Prevention Patient Version

    On This Page

    Cancerprevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

    To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

    Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.

    Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied.

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    Popping Pills Doesn’t Work

    Kristal and Lippman write that it made sense to study single micronutrientsearly on because numerous studies had found that eating a healthy diet withplenty of micronutrient-rich fruits and vegetables can help protect againstcertain cancers.

    But it is increasingly clear that if the foods we eat influence our cancerrisk, the relationship is too complex to break down to single nutrients.

    The newly published analysis is not the first to suggest that too much of agood thing — in this case folic acid — may be bad.

    “The notion that some is good and therefore more is better has been provenwrong it is more likely that for any given micronutrient, there is an optimalrange of intake,” Kristal and Lippman write.

    American Cancer Society epidemiologist Victoria Stevens, PhD, agrees.

    “Instead of taking one multivitamin, some people will take two or threethinking that it will be two or three times better for them,” she says. “Butstudies like this one suggest that this approach does no good and may even beharmful.”

    It is clear that taking a folic acid supplement is a good idea for women ofchildbearing years and those who are pregnant or nursing.

    But everyone else can probably get enough folic acid without taking asupplement if they eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables,Steven says.

    Cereals and breads are now fortified with folic acid, and folic acid isalso found in green, leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce, and in beans,peas, squash, and citrus fruits.

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    Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Part 3 Folate vs. Folic Acid

    An enlarged prostate can also be the cause of other problems. If the enlarged prostate is causing symptoms, the best treatment would be a natural remedy. In the meantime, there are treatments for a wide range of conditions that cause a man to experience pain. A common surgical procedure involves an electric loop, laser, or electro-stimulation. The procedure is a safe and effective option for treating enlarged or symptomatic BPH.

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    You Should Also Avoid All Foods That Are Fortified With Folic Acid

    According to the Florida Folic Acid Coalition :

    Many ready-to-eat breakfast cereals have 100-400 micrograms of folic acid per serving. Check the Nutrition Facts panel to be sure.

    Grain products that say enriched on the label have folic acid added to them.

    This includes bread, rolls, rice, pasta, instant oatmeal, and other foods made from enriched flour .

    At this time, whole grain foods do not have folic acid added to them.Foods imported from other countries may not contain folic acid. Check the ingredients list on the label to be sure.

    So bottom line, most prepared crackers, and cookies and baked goods are going to have folic acid added to them.

    Does Folic Acid Promote Prostate Cancer

    A secondary analysis by researchers at the University of Southern California looked at 643 men in the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study who took 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily as a supplement or a placebo for 10 years. Lead researcher Dr. Jane Figueredo found the folic acid supplement group had nearly three times the risk of developing prostate cancer compared to control subjects who took a placebo. The results of this study appeared in the March 10, 2009 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

    While aspirin use in the AFPP study was associated with a lower risk of developing polyps, those taking 1,000 mcg of folic acid actually had somewhat more polyps develop. These results were somewhat surprising because previous studies have shown that low levels of dietary folate are associated with an increased risk of colon and several other types of cancer including prostate cancer. The AFPP study ran from 1994 to 2006. After 10 years of follow-up an estimated 9.7% of the men taking the folic acid supplement developed prostate cancer compared to only 3.3% of those taking the placebo.

    Given the dubious efficacy of folic acid supplements to lower CVD risk or slow the development of precancerous colon polyps and now with data linking at least high dose folic acid with prostate cancer, the time has come to discourage men from taking high doses of folic acid.

    Bottom Line:

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    Circulating Folate And Vitamin B12 And Risk Of Prostate Cancer: A Collaborative Analysis Of Individual Participant Data From Six Cohorts Including 6875 Cases And 8104 Controls

    Price AJ., Travis RC., Appleby PN., Albanes D., Barricarte Gurrea A., Bjørge T., Bueno-de-Mesquita HB., Chen C., Donovan J., Gislefoss R., Goodman G., Gunter M., Hamdy FC., Johansson M., King IB., Kühn T., Männistö S., Martin RM., Meyer K., Neal DE., Neuhouser ML., Nygård O., Stattin P., Tell GS., Trichopoulou A., Tumino R., Ueland PM., Ulvik A., de Vogel S., Vollset SE., Weinstein SJ., Key TJ., Allen NE., Endogenous Hormones, Nutritional Biomarkers, and Prostate Cancer Collaborative Group None.

    Folic Acid And The Risk Of Prostate Cancer A Comment On The Results From A Randomized Clinical Trial

    FOLIC ACID and PROSTATE CANCER: NZ government must tread carefully with ...

    01 March 2009

    On March 10, 2009, a summary of a study was published which reports a higher incidence of prostate cancer after several years intake of vitamin B9 . This was a follow-up to the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study . The primary goal of the AFPP study was to determine whether the risk of colon polyps could be reduced by giving aspirin or folic acid. This study had already been published in 2007 and indicated that giving folic acid resulted in a trend toward a higher rate of colon polyps an increased risk of prostate cancer was also reported. The present publication reports on the findings of a secondary analysis which specifically evaluated the impact of folic acid supplementation , as compared to placebo administration, on prostate cancer. According to this analysis, 25 out of 327 subjects in the group given folic acid developed prostate carcinoma, while only 9 out of 316 subjects in the placebo group developed the condition.

    Furthermore, the authors point out that the estimates of risk may not be precise given the small number of prostate cancers observed . Although these limitations were discussed frankly by the authors of the publication as well as by the journals publishers, readers of recent reports in the media learn nothing of the reservations the authors of the study have about their own results.

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    Folate And Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen

    In addition to the increasing evidence that folate plays an important role in prostate carcinogenesis and progression, there are a growing number of reports that prostate specific membrane antigen is also key to this process. PSMA is a type II membrane protein with glutamate carboxypeptidase activity that removes gamma-linked glutamates from various substrates, such as polyglutamated folate and methotrexate.42 PSMA is highly expressed in LNCaP prostate cancer cells, however not in the PC-3 or DU145 cell lines. However when PSMA was ectopically expressed in PC-3 cells, it sequentially removed glutamates from polyglutamated methotrexate, suggesting a role for PSMA in methotrexate resistance as this so-called antifolate chemotherapeutic, requires glutamylation for maximum activity.42

    Intense staining for PSMA in the peritumoral and endotumoral capillary endothelial cells in 8/17 renal cell carcinomas, 7/13 urothelial carcinomas, and 3/19 colon carcinomas has also been documented.43 Due to the high expression of PSMA in the vasculature of many solid tumors, Conway et al46 investigated and confirmed that PSMA-null mice have severely impaired angiogenesis and that PSMA activity is necessary for endothelial cell invasion in vitro. However this study did not consider the potential effect of a folate/PSMA interaction.

    What You Need To Know About The Prostate Folic Acid Prostate Cancer

    The main purpose of the prostate is to produce semen, a milky fluid that sperm swims in. During puberty, the body produces semen in a large number of cases, including enlarged prostate. This fluid causes the prostate to swell and cause a number of bladder-related symptoms. This is why the prostate is important to the body. It can be caused by many factors, including infection and inflammation.

    A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

    While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

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    Comparison With Other Studies

    Our finding of no benefit, but a possible adverse effect from folic acid supplementation on cancer incidence is in line with reported results of studies on other nutrient supplements, including vitamin E, -carotene or selenium all showing no or an adverse effect of supplementation in controlled clinical trials on cancer development. A recent meta-analysis of folic acid supplements by Clarke and coworkers, in the B-Vitamin Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration with individual patient data, found no increased cancer risk in any subgroups. Our analysis differs from Clarke’s by being a systematic review, thus including more studies and by including more diverse populations than the seven B-vitamin trials in populations with cardiovascular disease included in the Clarke’s study. In two studies included both in Clarke’s meta-analysis and in ours, NORVIT and WENBIT, we included data from the combined analysis with longer follow-up time published in 2009 whereas Clarke et al only use cancer data from the original papers with a shorter follow-up. When assessing possible harm, a longer follow-up time is beneficial in order to discover more potential cancer cases, as an augmented cancer risk after folic acid intervention may not be confined to a short post-trial time period.

    Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Are Used To Study Ways To Prevent Cancer

    Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP)

    Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer.

    The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements.

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