Researchers investigating a possible correlation between benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and certain urologic male cancers found that BPH can be a risk factor for prostate and bladder cancer, especially in Asian patients. The study, “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and the Risk of Prostate Cancer and Bladder Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies,” was published in Medicine.
BPH, the most common benign proliferative disease in aging men, is a condition that leads to the non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland. It is associated with the onset of bladder outflow obstruction, and a series of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Research has also suggested that BPH is associated with certain male urologic cancers, such as prostate cancer and bladder cancer, but the reasons for this are not fully understood. Possible explanations include certain hormones, excessive inflammation and metabolic syndrome for prostate cancer, and residual urine in the bladder that increases a person’s exposure to excreted carcinogens for bladder cancer. Results from epidemiological studies investigating BPH as a risk factor for these cancers have also been mostly inconclusive.
A research team at the Mianyang Central Hospital in China conducted a systematic review of studies evaluating the association between BPH and urologic cancer risk. The review included 24 eligible studies, totaling 1.6 million participants, and looked for a possible link between BPH and cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, testicles, or penis. According to the analysis, BPH was associated with an increased incidence of prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Moreover, the results further suggest that the association between BPH and prostate cancer is stronger among Asian patients (risk ratio of 6.09) than in Caucasian patients (risk ratio of 1.54).
“In conclusion, BPH is associated with an increased incidence for both prostate cancer and bladder cancer, and the prostate cancer risk is particularly high in Asian BPH patients,” the researchers wrote, advising that further studies be conducted. “These findings can provide evidence in guiding cancer prevention and screening. Given the limitations of included studies, particularly for detection bias, additional prospective studies with strict design are needed to confirm our findings.”