Herbicide `Agent Orange` exposure linked to prostate cancer

Updated: May 13, 2013, 18:30 PM IST

Washington: A new study has found a link between exposure to Agent Orange and US veterans` having lethal forms of prostate cancer.

The findings suggest that history of exposure to Agent Orange should be incorporated into prostate screening decisions for veterans.

To find a link between Agent Orange exposure and life-threatening, or high-grade, prostate cancer, Nathan Ansbaugh , MPH, designed and conducted analyses on a group of 2,720 US Veterans who were referred by multiple providers for initial prostate biopsy. Biopsy results and clinical information were compiled for analysis by principal investigator Dr. Mark Garzotto, MD, of the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University.

896 (32.9 percent) of the Veterans were diagnosed with prostate cancer while 459 (16.9 percent) had high-grade disease.

Agent Orange exposure was linked with a 52 percent raise in overall risk of prostate cancer detection by biopsy.

Exposure to the herbicide did not confer a raise in increase in risk of low-grade prostate cancer, but it was linked with a 75 percent increase in risk of high-grade prostate cancer.

In addition, Agent Orange exposure was associated with more than a two-fold increase in the highest-grade, most lethal cancers.

The study has been published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.