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Research on Agent Orange and Aggressive Prostate Cancer

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Men exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War may now be waging another battle -- this time against prostate cancer. In a report published online in the journal Cancer, researchers found a link between the herbicide and an increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.

Agent Orange, used in Vietnam to destroy foliage, contains a potentially cancer-causing chemical called dioxin. Past research had already associated exposure to Agent Orange with prostate and other cancers. In this latest study, veterans who came into contact with Agent Orange had a 52 percent higher risk of prostate cancer being detected on a biopsy when compared with veterans who weren't exposed to Agent Orange.

Of greater concern is that 75 percent of the men diagnosed with cancer had an increased risk of developing high-grade -- or potentially lethal -- prostate cancer.

Takeaway. If you came into contact with Agent Orange during military service, be sure to inform your doctor, who may want to adjust your schedule for tests of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

Posted in Prostate Disorders on October 3, 2013


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