Men with high levels of calcium in the blood of May have a much higher risk to get fatal prostate cancer, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
The results indicate that a simple blood test in May to identify men at high risk for tumors of the prostate more dangerous, and there are already drugs that reduce the levels of calcium in the blood, researchers said.
They followed 2814 men in the government health survey in which they gave blood samples that revealed calcium levels.
The men in the top third of blood calcium was 2.68 times the risk of developing prostate cancer fatal later in life compared to those in the lower third, the study found.
"If serum calcium really increase your risk of prostate cancer deaths, it's wonderfully exciting because serum calcium levels can be changed," Gary Schwartz of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, who helped lead the study , said in a telephone interview.
"One way to think of it is to think of the immense progress in the control of cardiovascular disease that occur from understanding that things like serum cholesterol to predict heart attack," said Schwartz added.
Doctors are struggling to find ways to predict whether a man who has prostate cancer have a tumor that poses little risk, as is often the case, or is a killer.
Blood calcium was not very predictive of whether a man would be nonlethal prostate cancer, but it is highly predictive of whether a man would be a fatal case, the researchers wrote in the American Association for Cancer Research journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
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