In a study involving more than 2000 men, researchers at the University of Buffalo determined that men with prostrate cancer have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

The researchers reviewed the patient records, colonoscopy reports and pathology reports, as well as data on the prevalence of adenomas, advanced adenomas, cancerous adenomas and their location within the colon, in 2,011 men who had colonoscopies at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo.

When the researchers compared the colonoscopy results from 188 men diagnosed with prostate cancer with the rest of the patients, they found that the prostate cancer patients had significantly higher prevalence of abnormal polyps and advanced adenomas compared to the rest of the study sample.

Most colon cancers begin as adenomas, the researchers said...

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in San Antonio, Texas.

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Okay slight moment of stupid on my part:

How is it in any way surprising that if you have had cancer, you would be at a higher risk for two types of cancer? When I learned about cancer in school (I didn't learn a lot about it, but we talked about it in molecular biology some) it was thought that cancer requires mutations in multiple genes to get cancer. Some of those genes are general tumor suppressor genes. If you have a bad tumor suppressor gene, then it make you prone to all types of cancer.

My question would be, are you more likely get any type of cancer once you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, or is it really limited to colon cancer?
For whatever the reasons some people overcome one type of cancer never to get cancer again even though their immune systems were compromised by the treatment of the cancer. Moreover, I have never heard of anyone having two types of cancer at the same time (maybe this occurs more frequently than reported). These things might give people who have overcome cancer a false sense of security as to developing other types. The study suggests (through experimental verification as part of the scientific method) that in the case of prostate cancer men should not have a false sense of security regarding the possibility of developing colon cancer. The reason for the link might well be as you say and consistent with this undiscovered links to risks of other types of cancer might exist. However, this study should be a wake up call for men with prostate cancer (and I would say even with high PSA levels) to get regular colonoscopies.
this study should be a wake up call for men with prostate cancer (and I would say even with high PSA levels) to get regular colonoscopies.

I agree with that...heck with rates given I think it is clear we ALL need them.
I've never heard that anyone would feel secure after overcoming some type of cancer. People are generally rather aware of how cancer develops and how it is strongly linked to lifestyle. Basic risk factors to different types of cancer are mostly the same.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men but not the most common cause of death. Asymtpomatic prostate cancer is a common find in obductions. 30% of men over 50 and 70-80% of men over 70, no matter the death cause, show prostate cancer in obduction. So it makes me wonder what else could be linked to prostate cancer, because it is so common by itself.
In Finland all 60-69 years old are screened every 2nd year for colorectal cancer by fecal blood test. What would be more cost effective - sceening all by fecal test or doing colonoscopies to prostate cancer men? Who knows?
What would be more cost effective - sceening all by fecal test or doing colonoscopies to prostate cancer men? Who knows?

The colonoscopies would afford the removal (during the colonoscopies) of polyps in the colon before cancer developed. Do fecal tests detect polyps that could be removed as a preventive measure or are they only positive after colon cancer has developed? If they are only positive after cancer has developed they wouldn't be preferable to colonoscopies for screening purposes and would result in greater medical costs because those costs would include the cost of treating the cancer.
The idea of screening is to use cheap, simple, uninvasive tests on big groups of population to find those who need more complex examinations and possibly treatment. Colonoscopy is not a good screening test because it is rather invasive, time consuming, painful and even risky. And there are no resources (at least here) to do it to large groups of people. Those who screen positive on fecal blood tests will be colonoscopied anyway. Actual cancer is still quite a rare find in those with positive fecal blood. Fecal blood tests give often false positive results and there are many other reasons, like hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel diseases etc that cause fecal blood.
Over here colonoscopies are becoming common. I have had them. I was told that at my age I should have one every five years and if polyps are found then every three. I know they are painful. I tried to have my first without anesthesia but couldn't stand the pain. I like the idea of having them because polyps can be removed before they become abnormal. I don't want to give colon cancer a chance to start.
In case of polyps, regular colonoscopies are the guideline here too. Just they very rarely do it under anesthesia. Sedation - yes, anesthesia - virtually no. Therefore before referring someone to colonoscopy, I have to think if he/she is able to go through it. For some, the preparation itself is too much.


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