(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) UC Davis Cancer Center physicians today released results of research showing that Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed.
The findings, which appear online now and will be published in the September 15 issue of the journal Cancer, are the first to reliably link the herbicide with this form of cancer by studying a large population of men in their 60s and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen for the disease.
"While others have linked Agent Orange to cancers such as soft-tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, there is limited evidence so far associating it with prostate cancer," said Karim Chamie, lead author of the study and resident physician with the UC Davis Department of Urology and the VA Northern California Health Care System. "Here we report on the largest study to date of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange and the incidence of prostate cancer."
Chamie also said that, unlike previous studies that were either too small or conducted on men who were too young, patients in the current study were entering their prime years for developing prostate cancer. There was also the added advantage that it was conducted entirely during the era of PSA screening, providing a powerful tool for early diagnosis and tracking of prostate cancer.
More than 13,000 Vietnam veterans enrolled in the VA Northern California Health Care System were stratified into two groups exposed or not exposed to Agent Orange between 1962 and 1971. Based on medical evaluations conducted between 1998 and 2006, the study revealed that twice as many men exposed to Agent Orange were identified with prostate cancer. In addition, Agent Orange-exposed men were diagnosed two-and-a-half years younger and were nearly four times
|Contact: Karen Finney|
University of California - Davis - Health System