Chemicals (BPA) May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

water bottle plastic

Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may increase the risk of prostate cancer later in life, according to an experimental study published 01 January 2014.

Background: In rodent models, early-life exposure to BPA reprograms the prostate and increases its susceptibility to hormone-induced cancer formation.

he Study: Investigators at the University of Illinois at Chicago (USA) used human prostate epithelial stem-like cells cultured from prostates of young, disease-free donors to see if the human prostate similarly sensitive to BPA.

The Results: BPA correlated with elevated self renewal of stem-progenitor cells and with expression of stem-related genes in a dose-dependent manner. There was a significant increase in the incidence of “pre-cancer changes” known as prostate intraepithelial neopasia (HG-PIN) and cancer (adenocarcinoma) in oil-fed controls. Continuous developmental BPA exposure correlated with further increased HG-PIN/cancer incidence.

What You Should Know:

  • Human prostate stem-progenitor cells are direct BPA targets, and developmental exposure to BPA increases our  (men’s) hormone-dependent risk of prostate cancer.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins, and has been in use since 1957. You may find it in a variety of consumer goods, including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, CDs and DVDs, and in industrial settings (lining water pipes!). The USA has ended its use in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging, but the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) offers that BPA is safe (http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm355155.htm). The European Union and Canada have banned its use in many bottles. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) expert panel recommended no new regulations limiting or banning the use of BPA.

Endocrine-disrupters may be more common to many (or most) plastics than we knew. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter, and I am sticking with the glass bottle for my water.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

References: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/en.2013-1955; http://en.wikipedia/wiki/Bisphenol_A#World_Health_Organization

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