Asthmatics on steroids face higher prostate cancer risk
London: Men who take steroid tablets or injections for treating severe asthma could face 70 percent higher risk of prostate cancer.
Those who regularly use an inhaler or a bronchodilator to relieve wheezing are 36 percent more at risk, says a new study.
Even having asthma appears to increase prostate cancer risk by around 25 percent. But the chances of a tumour are significantly higher if people start medication, says a Daily Mail report.
The study was undertaken by a team of scientists in Melbourne, Australia.
They decided to look at the link between asthma and prostate cancer because both arise from inflammation in the body, according to the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Dr Elaine Vickers, from Asthma UK, however, urged men with asthma not to stop taking medication on the basis of the results.
The researchers studied 1,179 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and analysed how many had a history of asthma.
Asthmics using bronchodilators will usually have two types - one which provides instant relief from symptoms and another to use once or twice day to prevent them developing in the first place.
Cancer experts stressed that findings were preliminary and needed to be confirmed by much bigger studies before any change in asthma drug use could be considered.