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Here's why prostate cancer patients should be concerned about their cholesterol levels

by , 03 November 2017
Here's why prostate cancer patients should be concerned about their cholesterol levels
Attention all prostate cancer patients! The results of a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention have revealed that when abundant, two types of fat molecules circulating in your blood - cholesterol and triglycerides - can boost your risk of cancer recurrence.

“Our findings suggest that normalization, or even partial normalisation, of serum lipid levels among men with dyslipidaemia may reduce the risk of prostate cancer recurrence,” said study author Emma Allott, a postdoctoral associate at Duke University School of Medicine in the United States, in a statement. Read on for the full story.

Study finds a link between prostate cancer recurrence and high cholesterol levels

The study involved a retrospective cohort analysis of 843 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a radical prostatectomy. None of the men had taken statin drugs before their surgery. A total of 35% had biochemical recurrence after an average follow-up of 74.3 months.
 
The study found that prostate cancer patients who had serum triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or higher were at a 35% higher risk for cancer recurrence compared with patients who had normal triglyceride levels. Among the patients with higher blood lipid levels, for every 10 mg/dL increase in total serum cholesterol above 200 mg/dL, there was a 9% increased risk for cancer recurrence.

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The study also found that for every 10 mg/dL increase in HDL cholesterol (the so-called “good” cholesterol) in patients who had an abnormally low HD level (below 40 mg/dL), the relative reduction in risk of prostate cancer recurrence was 39%. The total serum cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol weren’t tied to a risk of recurrence in all men in the study population as a whole.
 

Study authors believe serum lipid levels should be explored further as a risk factor for prostate cancer recurrence

“Although it cannot be determined from this study if these observed associations are causal, given the biological evidence supporting an important role of cholesterol in prostate cancer growth, in addition to epidemiologic data demonstrating that statin use is associated with reduced risk of recurrence, we believe that serum lipid levels should be explored further as a risk factor for prostate cancer recurrence,” the study authors concluded.

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