Prostate cancer is caused by the weather... sort of... seriously!

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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 644
   Posted 12/13/2010 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Just found this. It has some fascinating maps of PC distribution by county in the U.S.

Correlations between meteorological parameters and prostate cancer.
Int J Health Geogr. 2010 Apr 21;9:19.
St-Hilaire S, Mannel S, Commendador A, Mandal R, Derryberry D.
Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209, USA.

BACKGROUND: There exists a north-south pattern to the distribution of prostate cancer in the U.S., with the north having higher rates than the south. The current hypothesis for the spatial pattern of this disease is low vitamin D levels in individuals living at northerly latitudes; however, this explanation only partially explains the spatial distribution in the incidence of this cancer. Using a U.S. county-level ecological study design, we provide evidence that other meteorological parameters further explain the variation in prostate cancer across the U.S.

VIEW IMAGE of PC distribution across the U.S.

RESULTS: In general, the colder the temperature and the drier the climate in a county, the higher the incidence of prostate cancer, even after controlling for shortwave radiation, age, race, snowfall, premature mortality from heart disease, unemployment rate, and pesticide use. Further, in counties with high average annual snowfall (>75 cm/yr) the amount of land used to grow crops (a proxy for pesticide use) was positively correlated with the incidence of prostate cancer.

CONCLUSION: The trends found in this USA study suggest prostate cancer may be partially correlated with meteorological factors. The patterns observed were consistent with what we would expect given the effects of climate on the deposition, absorption, and degradation of persistent organic pollutants including pesticides. Some of these pollutants are known endocrine disruptors and have been associated with prostate cancer.

I checked all the journal articles on vitamin D and PC that were published in 2010. The picture is decidedly mixed; different research points different ways. There is fairly strong evidence that Vitamin D reduces PC in a lab setting (in vitro) but much less impact if any on studies with actual patients (in vivo). Basically there are two explanations offered for the discrepancy. (1) In seems that the way the body processes vitamin D is closely related to how the body processes androgen. So that low levels of vitamin D may not be causing PC, but rather they may be the result of something else that is causing PC. As a result, increasing the levels of vitamin D does not seem to have that much effect. (2) Although in the lab, Vitamin D is effective, it is very hard to get the level of vitamin D in the blood up safely to the high concentrations that work in the lab.

You can read the whole article free here:

Post Edited (proscapt) : 12/13/2010 7:09:33 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 12/13/2010 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh wow. Without checking any of the sources I would wonder if this explains why black men are more susceptible to PC. If you were a black man living in say, Chicago, you might want to look for a job further south, like Washington D.C.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 12/13/2010 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
My theory: cold guys are more depressed than hot guys. Just like women really -- cold ones are more depressing than hot ones. turn

John T
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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 12/13/2010 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
It is also interesting to note that farmers and pilots have a higher incidence of PC than the normal population. Farmers can be explained by pesticide, but pilots??
Maybe because of radiation exposure or maybe because they are sitting all the time.
65 years old, rising psa for 10 years from 4 to 40; 12 biopsies and MRIS all negative. Oct 2009 DXed with G6 <5%. Color Doppler biopsy found 2.5 cm G4+3. Combidex clear. Seeds and IMRT, no side affects and psa .1 at 1.5 years.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 820
   Posted 12/13/2010 11:45 PM (GMT -6)   
This is fascinating. Why is Arizona so much lower than New Mexico? Both are hot and yet, dry. The hot, dry part of California is not as low. Yet the lowest rates seem to be in Tennessee. Hot, maybe, but not dry. I guess there isn't that much farming? But why should Tennessee be lower than Louisiana?
Diagnosis at 53. PSA 2007 about 2; 2008 4.3
Biopsy Sept 2008: 6 of 12 cores pos; Gleason 4+3 = 7
CT & Bone scan neg
Da Vinci at City of Hope Dec 8, 2008
Rad prostatectomy & lymph node dissection
Cath out on 7th day, in on 8th day, out again 14th day after neg cystogram
Path: pT2c; lymph nodes neg; margins involv; 41 grams,
PSA 1/08, 4/09,7/09, 10/09, 11/09,2/10 <0.01, 10/10 0.1

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/13/2010 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope no one is reading too much into this report, you might as well say if you have ever drank water, you have a higher chance of PC. There's no rhyme or reason in that map. Lots of inconsistencies as far as I can see.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1268
   Posted 12/14/2010 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
It would seem that the "weather" is as good an explanation of what caused my PCa as any other I've heard. I'm sure it caused my hangover.
PSA 2007 - 2.8; 11/24/2008 - 7.6; PCa Dx 2/11/09; age at Dx 62; RLP 4/20/09

Biopsy - Invasive moderately differentiated prostatic andenocarconoma; G 3+3=6; PT2C; No evidence of Seminal Vesicle or Extraprostatic Involvement; Margins clear; Tumor identified in sections from prostatic apex. 70 gram prostate. Continent after removal of cath.

ED - Trimix works well; levitra @ 90%
PSA - 7/31/09 <0.06; 12/1/09 <0.06; 3/29/10 <0.06; 8/4/10 <0.06

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 12/14/2010 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
This sounds like a product of "publish or perish."  You have to get something....anything....published if you want to advance in your field.  I'm thinking PCa might be related to the type of deodorant used.  :)   My only serious thought on the cause of PCa is to wonder if it might be related to testosterone level.  I'm sure someone has looked at that, but I haven't run across it.

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3742
   Posted 12/14/2010 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Where's Mel, (Compiler), when we need him?

I read the paper and do not see the R values or correlation coefficients. They plotted curves but I'd like to see the raw data and how the points are scattered.
Are the numbers statistically significant?

I do like the idea though. I'd love to play with that data. I'm sure we can find something that would fit. Number of times the man has sex. Income. Shoe size divided by the number of times the man has sex.

We can make anything fit a curve. That is the beauty of excel.

Jeff (a statistical leaker)
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