Dr. Whang comments:
This study suggests that bisphenol A (BPA) which is found in plastic water bottles and soda cans can lead to cellular changes and this may in turn lead to increased risk of prostate cancer. This is a scary study because BPA is found in commonly used items.
Study links chemical exposure to prostate cancer
Center's researchers look at effect of BPA on body
Low-dose exposure to a chemical used to make plastic water bottles and to coat cans holding food items such as soup may cause prostate cancer by disrupting normal cell duplication, a new study by Cincinnati Cancer Center researchers concludes.
A study published Monday in the online peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE provides the first evidence that even low levels of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure can cause cellular changes in non-malignant and malignant prostate cells. In addition, the study found that levels of BPA in men’s urine could be an indicator of future cancer, especially in men under age 65.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in North America, with one in six men developing it over their lifetime. The Cincinnati region has a higher rate of it than the rest of the nation.
With the study’s insight, “we hope to further investigate ways we can decrease exposures to potentially cancerous-causing chemicals in every day products and substances and reduce the onset of prostate cancer in men,” said Shuk-mei Ho, the study’s principal investigator and director of the cancer center. “There’s a real prevention angle here.”
Ho noted that 90 percent of Americans have some kind of exposure to BPA because it’s in so many everyday items.
BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Its use in water and beverage bottles and can linings creates a pathway for humans to ingest BPA. The chemical also can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin, as was shown in a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study released last week on thermally-printed receipts from stores and ATMs.
While animal studies have shown that BPA contributes to development of prostate cancer, human data about BPA and prostate cancer are scarce, Ho said. A larger study is needed to validate the results before drawing stronger conclusions, she added.
The major contributing factors to prostate cancer are age – with two-thirds of cases reported in men age 65 or older – along with race and family history