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Study links gonorrhea to prostate cancer

Study links gonorrhea to prostate cancer

A study of African-American men in Flint, Mich., suggests that men who have had gonorrhea are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, TB and Outbreaks Week reports. Researchers asked 703 African-American men without prostate cancer and 129 black men with the disease about their number of sexual partners, frequency of sexual activity, history of sexually transmitted diseases, and other questions related to their sexual activity. Sixty-five percent of the men with prostate cancer reported having had gonorrhea, compared with 53% of cancer-free men. Men with prostate cancer also were more likely to report having had more than one gonorrhea diagnosis and to have had more than 25 sexual partners in their lifetimes. Men who had more than 25 sexual partners were more than 2.5 times more likely to have prostate cancer than men with five or fewer partners. "Although we are unable to show that gonorrhea directly causes prostate cancer, we suspect the inflammatory effect of the gonorrhea infection may trigger preexisting cancerous cells to multiply," said lead author Aruna Sarma, an assistant research scientist in the department of urology at University of Michigan Medical School. The study was presented at the recent American Urological Association's meeting in San Francisco.

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