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Global team finds new genetic variants that raise risk of prostate cancer

In a large international study, scientists have identified 23 new genetic variants –

differences in sequences of DNA – that raise men’s risk of developing prostate cancer above the

population average.

DNA magnifying glass
Researchers have identified 23 new genetic variants that significantly increase men’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

Believed to be the largest meta-analysis of its kind, pooling data on over 87,000 men, the study

reveals previously unidentified mutations for prostate cancer among groups of European, African,

Latino and Japanese origin.

“Fifteen variants were identified among men of European ancestry, seven were identified in multi-ancestry

analyses and one was associated with early-onset prostate cancer,” write the authors.

Some of the newly identified variants have already been linked to other cancers.

Together with 76 previously known, the new variants account for a third of the inherited

risk of developing prostate cancer in men of European descent. And, because the mutations are

inherited commonly among populations, they can surface in men with little or no family history of

prostate cancer.

All 23 of the variants – more specifically known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs,

(pronounced “snips”) – that the study identifies are to be found in regions of DNA that do not

code for proteins. This suggests they are involved in regulating other genes rather than making


The study authors, including two researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in

Baltimore, MD, report their findings in the journal Nature Genetics.

Co-author Alan Partin, a professor of urology at Johns Hopkins, says:


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New genetic variants indicate risk for prostate cancer: international study

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Specific baldness pattern linked with increased prostate cancer risk

Men with a specific pattern of baldness at age 45 have a 40% increased risk of later developing aggressive prostate cancer, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

illustration of frontal and moderate crown baldness
Using a pictorial tool, the men identified in the questionnaire what their hair-loss patterns were at age 45.
Image credit: American Society of Clinical Oncology

Increasingly, evidence is suggesting that both prostate cancer and male pattern baldness are linked to increased levels of androgens (male sex hormones) and androgen receptors.

In 2013, Medical News Today reported on a study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who found that African-American men who experience baldness were 69% more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with no baldness.

That team – which examined 318 African-American prostate cancer patients with baldness (aged 39-86) and 219 African-American men who did not have prostate cancer (aged 33-93) – also found that the probability of aggressive prostate cancer doubled in men with frontal baldness.

Overall, frontal baldness was linked to high-stage and high-grade prostate cancer, while crown baldness was linked to low-grade prostate cancer.

Further examining the link between baldness and prostate cancer risk, researchers from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, analyzed questionnaire data from 39,070 men aged 55-74 as part of the US PLCO Cancer Screening Trial.

Frontal and moderate crown baldness ‘linked to higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer’

Using a pictorial tool, the men

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Nonsurgical Treatments Suggested for Women’s Urinary Incontinence

Female Urinary Incontinence: Nonsurgical Treatment

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Effective treatment options exist for women with urinary incontinence that don’t involve medication or surgery, according to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians.

Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, bladder training and weight loss could help, the group advised.

Women with stress urinary incontinence have problems holding in urine when they laugh, cough or sneeze. The college recommends that these women perform Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles that control urine flow.

Urgency urinary incontinence causes women to suddenly feel the need to urinate and leak urine for no apparent reason. The physicians said bladder training can help women with this form of the condition. This behavioral therapy involves going to the bathroom on a set schedule and slowly increasing the intervals between urination over time.

Women with more than one form of urinary incontinence can try a combination of Kegel exercises and bladder training, according to the guidelines published Sept. 15 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

If bladder training isn’t effective, doctors should prescribe a medication based on a woman’s individual needs and how well she tolerates the drug, the physicians said.

Also, the symptoms of obese women with

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Male Pattern Baldness Tied to Prostate Cancer, Study Suggests

Male Pattern Baldness Tied to Prostate Cancer

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Men with male pattern baldness may face a higher risk of developing an aggressive type of prostate cancer than men with no balding, a new study suggests.

But, the study authors noted that it’s not clear yet whether men with this specific pattern of baldness should be concerned. Their study only found an association between male pattern baldness and aggressive prostate cancer. It did not prove cause and effect.

“It is conceivable that, in the future, male pattern baldness may play a small role in estimating risk of prostate cancer and may contribute to discussions between doctors and patients about prostate cancer screening,” said study co-author Michael Cook. Cook is an investigator with the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The study is published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Male pattern baldness is a pattern of hair loss that begins when the front hairline as well as the top of the back of the head (crown) starts to recede. In some men, the hair recedes on the right and left sides of the upper forehead and a tuft of hair remains in between.

This kind of baldness develops as a result of “a cumulative, lifelong exposure to testosterone in the skin,” said Dr. Charles Ryan, an associate clinical professor with the department of medicine at the University of California, San

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