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Oncologists may soon be able to more easily distinguish malignant cancers from benign or less serious growths, research suggests.
A report appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute described research which indicated that a sexually transmitted parasite is likely to increase one's risk of developing prostate cancer, the U.S. News' HealthDay reports. Trichomonas vaginalis is an infection commonly screened for in women, but not men.
The study compared 673 men with prostate cancer with the same amount of healthy men. A statistically significant incidence of potentially deadly cancers was linked to men whose blood tests revealed them as hosts to the T. vaginalis infection.
Jennifer Rider Stark, lead researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health stressed that the types of cancer connected to the presence of the parasite were "either advanced at diagnosis or after follow-up proved to be fatal." She added that this study exposes the possibility of reducing the risk of life-threatening prostate cancer by screening for T. vaginalis.
According to estimates by the American Cancer Society, over 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive, and approximately192,280 diagnoses of prostate cancer will be made in 2009.
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