By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 12 2002 12:00 AM ET
Researchers at the University of Iowa report in the journal Epidemiology that men with a history of sexually transmitted diseases are more likely to develop prostate cancer. The scientists analyzed data from 36 previous studies and determined that men with a history of any STD were 1.4 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who've never had an STD. Men who've had syphilis were at the highest risk and were shown to be 2.3 times more likely to develop cancer. The specific link between STD infections and prostate cancer risk was not identified, but the researchers speculate that STDs can affect the body's hormone levels, which at higher than normal levels can stimulate the growth of tumor cells.