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Study connects trichomoniasis to prostate cancer

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A parasitic infection may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers from Washington State University discovered a molecular process through which a trichomoniasis infection may eventually lead to prostate cancer. These results are important, considering that such an infection is detectable through STD diagnosis tests.

Trichomoniasis, which is caused by a protozoan parasite, is known as the most common curable STD. Although most people do not experience any symptoms from an infection, it may lead to certain health complications. For example, women who have the parasite may have a greater risk of pregnancy complications and HIV.

Furthermore, a past study indicated that men infected with trichomoniasis are 40 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer, but such a finding was not considered conclusive.

However, the latest research suggests that trichomoniasis may activate a suite of proteins that could lead to prostate cancer. The last of these proteins keeps the others active.

"It's like switching a light switch on," said senior study author John Alderete. "Then, if you don't control the brightness of that light, you can go blind. That's the problem."

Men who are wondering if they harbor trichomoniasis should consider taking STD diagnosis tests. A positive screen could lead to treatment of the infection.

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