The incidence of prostate cancer increases with age. Although only 1 in 350 men under the age of 50 years will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the incidence rate increases up to 1 in every 52 men for ages 50 to 59 years. The incidence rate is nearly 60% in men over the age of 65 years.
The reason for these differences among the countries is not entirely clear. The worldwide variations in prostate cancer incidence might be attributed to PSA testing.
Research has shown that African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer worldwide and are more likely to develop disease earlier in life when compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
Some studies have shown that high-fat milk consumption and dairy products are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Increased Risk with Higher Dairy Intakes
In a recently published study, researchers evaluated the association between dairy, dietary calcium, and the development of prostate cancer. The study appears in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For the study, the team evaluated a large North American cohort of 28,737 Seventh-day Adventist men in the United States and Canada. Different factors such as diet were measured by food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), and incident cancers were reported.
A total of 1,254 prostate cancer cases were found during the almost 8 years of follow-up. The team found that men at the 90th percentile of dairy intake, which was 430 g/d had a higher prostate cancer risk when compared to those in the 10th percentile of 20.2 g/d. The same was observed for both advanced and non advanced prostate cancer cases.
No associations were observed regarding the intake of non-dairy calcium.
The researchers concluded that men with a higher intake of dairy foods had a higher risk of prostate cancer compared to those with lower intakes. Unfortunately, these types of studies can not prove causality or find the reason why this association happens. But once again a study shows that dairy is not really needed in our diet contrary to common beliefs and can in fact cause multiple health problems.
Michael J Orlich, et al. Dairy foods, calcium intakes, and risk of incident prostate cancer in Adventist Health Study–2. 2022. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqac093.
Prashanth Rawla. Epidemiology of Prostate Cancer. World J Oncol. 2019 Apr; 10(2): 63–89. Published online 2019 Apr 20. doi: 10.14740/wjon1191.