-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- A link exists between
exposure to Agent Orange and deadly forms of prostate cancer in
U.S. veterans, according to a new study.
Agent Orange was a chemical spray that was heavily used during
the Vietnam War era. It was often contaminated with dioxin, a
potentially cancer-causing chemical. Previous research suggests
that exposure to Agent Orange increases the risk of prostate
cancer, but it wasn't known if it specifically increases the risk
of more dangerous forms of the disease.
In this study, researchers looked at more than 2,700 U.S.
veterans who underwent a prostate biopsy. Prostate cancer was
diagnosed in 33 percent of the veterans, including 17 percent with
high-grade disease, according to the study, which was published
online May 13 in the journal
Exposure to Agent Orange was linked with a 52 percent increase
in overall prostate cancer risk, a 75 percent increased risk of
high-grade prostate cancer and a more than doubled risk of the
deadliest forms of the disease.
The findings suggest that determining veterans' exposure to
Agent Orange can help identify those who may be at increased risk
for prostate cancer, leading to earlier detection and treatment,
said Dr. Mark Garzotto, of the Portland Veterans Administration
Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University, and
"It also should raise awareness about potential harms of chemical contaminants in biologic agents used in warfare and the risks associated with waste handling and other chemical processes that generate dioxin or dioxin-related compounds," Garzotto said in a journal news release.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
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