Prostate cancer is a type of cancer, which only affects men. The cancerous cells begin to grow in the prostate gland, and i.e. male reproductive organs. Prostate cancer is said to be the most common type of cancer among American male. The statistics reveal that 1 out of 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and it is also the second highest cause of cancer death among American males. The prostate cancer grows very slowly in the majority of the cases.
On the other hand, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can be defined as an illness, which alters the immunity system of the human beings. It makes people more vulnerable to all kinds of diseases. It is a sexually transmitted virus. The statistics show that more than 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with HIV, and 1 out of 8 doesn’t even know it. Is it true that HIV-infected men are more immune to prostate cancer? Let’s find it out.
HIV-infected men have lower incidence of Prostate Cancer?
Yes, the recent study has found that the HIV-infected men have a lower incidence of prostate cancer. There was a lower incidence of prostate cancer in HIV-infected men on antiretroviral therapy in comparison to the general population. Moreover, the study also concluded that HIV-infected men and women have lower incidence of cancer like colon and lung cancer.
Jeanette Y. Lee, MD, University of Arkansas used the database of the LifeLink Health Plan for the further study. Jeanette along with her colleagues did the analysis of the data of 63,221 commercially insured adults over the age of 18. Those individuals had at least one HIV diagnostic code along with one antiretroviral medicine prescription. The researchers further investigated the expected cancer cases found in the general population, according to gender based age-group.
After a lot of research by the researchers, the findings fascinated them. They found that the men infected with HIV have 30% lower incidence of prostate cancer in comparison to the men in the general population. It was reported by Dr. Lee in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology.
The overall incidence of prostate cancer among the men with HIV-infection is 102/100,000, whereas the overall incidence of prostate cancer among the men without HIV-infection is 131/100,000 person. The HIV-infected men had reduced risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, the HIV-infected men also had a lower risk of more severe forms of cancer.
This finding of lower incidence of prostate cancer among HIV-infected men confirmed the findings in the previous reports. Some suggested that the lower incidence of prostate cancer among HIV-infected men could be because of the lower usage of PSA testing. However, this was not really the case. Dr. Lee along with her team noted that a study in California comparing the groups of men with HIV and without HIV found no real difference with regard to the use of PSA.
However, the risk of prostate cancer among both HIV-infected men and those without HIV increased with the increment in the age. The risk of prostate cancer is also connected with the ethnicity, and i.e. black vs. white. The statistics show that the risk of prostate cancer is higher among black in comparison to whites.
There were some other findings from the study. The incidence of the lungs and colon cancer was also lower among HIV-infected people in comparison to the general population. The incidence was 31% lower in lung cancer and 30% lower in colon cancer. However, it does not mean that HIV-infected people have a lower risk of all forms of diseases. They had 46 times higher incidence of Kaposi sarcoma, 30.5 times higher anal cancer incidence, 9.8 times higher Hodgkin lymphoma incidence, and 4.2 times higher non-Hodgkin lymphoma incidence.
The findings from the study were fascinating. In fact, the findings from the study have created a lot more confusion among the researchers. Yes, they have found that the HIV-infected men have lower incidence of prostate cancer in comparison to HIV-negative men. However, the question is how. What are the reasons behind the lower incidence of prostate cancer among HIV-infected men? What is the relationship between HIV and prostate cancer?
All of these questions are still unanswered. What does this mean? It means the findings in this study calls for more study on this topic. This calls for more study to find the reason behind the lower incidence of prostate cancer among HIV-infected men. HIV was supposed to decrease the immunity power of the person, making them more vulnerable to many different types of diseases, but it is not the case in prostate cancer. It is pretty sure that more research on this topic will bring forward more fascinating findings in the near future.