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Vitamin D: A Sunny Outlook for Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 8, 2014) - Vitamin D deficiency could be a predictor for aggressive prostate cancer, according to a study funded by The National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. In examining the prostate biopsy results of men with abnormal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and/or digital rectal exams (DREs), researchers discovered that men with low vitamin D levels were more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer and to be diagnosed with advanced-stage tumors.

"The good news is that vitamin D deficiency is very easy to address," said David B. Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. "If we look at low vitamin D as a potential biomarker for prostate cancer and add it to annual blood panels, we can identify men who need to boost their levels. Increasing vitamin D levels is easily accomplished through supplements and even good old fashioned sun exposure."

Among the 600 Chicago-area study participants, African American men with low vitamin D levels were almost five times more likely to have aggressive prostate cancer; European American men with low levels were more than three times as likely. Both groups also showed increased odds of more advanced tumor staging at diagnosis; more than four times and nearly three times more likely for African American and European-American men, respectively.

According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men overall, and are two-and-a-half times more likely to succumb to the disease. Researchers also point out that darker skin can interfere with vitamin D absorption, which could cause lower levels in these men and contribute to their increased risk of prostate cancer.

"The African American men in the study who were severely deficient in vitamin D were almost two-and-a-half times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. If we look at their already increased risk of the disease and the possibility that low vitamin D may predict or accelerate prostate cancer, we have a very actionable opportunity to improve their odds," said Dr. Samadi.

The vitamin D prostate cancer study was lead by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Results were published in the May 1 Clinical Cancer Research journal by the American Association for Cancer Research,

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* The benefits of robotic surgery cannot be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure specific. Previous surgical results do not guarantee future outcomes.

Shlomo P. - Israel

My story starts on August 2010 when results from a PSA test showed a disturbing signal-6.3 A biopsy held in the beginning of October 2010 showed a more disturbing signal-Gleason 4+3.

J. M., Los Angeles, California

"My PSA now is

Jeannette B., Netherlands

Mijn man werd op 17-09-2008 geopereerd met een Da Vinci door dr.Samadi. (PSA 31.8, gleason score 9) Eerst hebben we geprobeerd dit plaats te laten vinden in Europa,maar daar werd geen operatie gedaan met een kapseldoorbraak.

Anthony R.

Men need to hear my story as it may save their lives! Thanks for, I believe, saving my life!