Johns Hopkins logo While mixed fruit juices seem to decrease the risk to prostate cancer, milk and dairy products apparently elevate it. This difficult to treat disease may commonly develop in men above the age of 50. A new study triggered by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) believes that men with denser bones may face heightened risk of developing prostate cancer. It was affirmed that prostate cancer patients with more aggressive and dangerous forms display denser bones than men without the ailment.

The study results may help investigators analyze the cause and reason for the spread of this disease. Data gathered by the NIA’s Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging was examined by the scientists. Information about the bone mineral density of 519 men which was measured from 1973 to 1984 was included in the study. Generally, a reduction in bone density may be noted with decline in age in both men as well as women.

Stacy Loeb, M.D., a resident in the Department of Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine elucidated, “We reasoned there may be some difference between men who develop prostate cancer, especially metastatic disease, and those who don’t, and it was logical to see if there was something different about their bones.”

While investigating, the experts registered 76 men with a considerably higher bone density than other participants. The scientists elucidate that these men had later developed prostate cancer. Lifestyle factors namely smoking, body mass index, and intake of dietary calcium and vitamin D were analyzed that may boost bone density. But no association between the lifestyle factors and bone density was observed.

Loeb enlightened, “If we can elucidate the underlying pathways, we could develop strategies for preventing prostate cancer from occurring or spreading.”

The experts revealed that highest bone density was found in 18 men who developed the high-risk form of prostate cancer. The study findings are determined after evaluating very less number of patients, so link between bone features and metastatic disease cannot be possibly confirmed.

The investigators caution that bone density scans cannot be employed as a screening tool for prostate cancer. It can also be true that bone density influencing factors such as sex hormones or growth factors in bone can cause this form of cancer and metastasize. Further inspections ascertaining common factors between bone density and prostate cancer will be undertaken by the scientists.

The study is published in the July British Journal of Urology International.