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Green tea may help fight prostate cancer

June 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Active compounds found in green tea may help slow the progression of prostate cancer.Researchers at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport found that polyphenols lower levels of three proteins that help tumors grow and spread. Polyphenols have anti-oxidant properties.

Twenty-six patients, ranging in age from 41 to 68, were given four capsules daily containing green tea extract. The capsules were equivalent to drinking 12 cups a day for a month. At the end of the trial, the patients saw a significant drop in the levels of the dangerous proteins in their blood.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2009. The organization predicts 27,360 men will die of prostate cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, after lung cancer. The American Cancer Society says one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and one in 35 men will die of the disease.

Certain risk factors are associated with prostate cancer. Those include family history, age, smoking, obesity, and race.

The American Cancer Society says age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases after a man reaches age 50. Almost two-thirds of every case is found in men over the age of 65.

Prostate cancer is also more common among African American men. Researchers are not certain why race and ethnicity is a factor but African American men are also more likely to die of the disease. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic whites.

Statistics complied by The American Cancer Society show that for all men with prostate cancer, the relative five-year survival rate is 100 percent, and the relative 10-year survival rate is 91 percent. The 15-year relative survival rate is 76 percent. The organization cautions that every case is unique.

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