New Study Links Trucking And Prostate Cancer

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

A new study has been presented to the American Association for Cancer Research that shows that those who have spent a prolonged period of time working as a truck driver are more prone to end up with an aggressive type of prostate cancer than those who work in other fields.

The study is based on data from 1,049 African-American men and 1,043 European-American men who had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Each of the men were asked a about the type of job they were in before or at the time of their diagnosis.

One of the study’s researchers, L. Joseph Su, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the National Cancer Instituted, told the Huffington Post that people who work in the finance industry and construction workers also faced a higher risk of being diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer. Su also added that the study does not prove that truck driving causes aggressive prostate cancer. 

He did, however, add that other studies have linked whole-body vibrations to prostate cancer risk.

“Truck drivers are on the road for a long period of time,” Su told the Huffington Post.  “Older trucks have a lot of vibration and bumping of the engine. Long-term vibration from the engine, which is right next to your prostate, for a long period of time,” could potentially be a risk factor.

Su also pointed to lifestyle habits for drivers.  For example, drivers are not typically as active, and due to limited food options, their diets may not be as healthy, he added.

Su told the Huffington Post that he plans on looking into the study participant’s diets, as well.

It’s important to remember that this is just one study of many, and researchers are still looking for other commonalities amongst those who develop prostate cancer.

Symptoms of prostate cancer:

From Cancer.Org

Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Advanced prostate cancers can cause some symptoms, such as:

  • Problems passing urine, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night.
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Trouble getting an erection (impotence)
  • Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer spread to bones
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord.

Other diseases can also cause many of these same symptoms. For example, trouble passing urine is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than cancer. Still, it is important to tell your doctor if you have any of these problems so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Risk Factors: 

Age: Prostate cancer is rare in men under the age of 40, but your chances rise rapidly after the age of 50.  6 in 10 men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are over the age of 65.

Race and Ethnicity: African-American and Jamaican men of African ancestry are more frequently diagnosed with prostate cancer than men of any other race.  African-American men are also more likely to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage and are 2 times more likely to die of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer often occurs less in Asian-American and Hispanic or Latino men.

Family history: Prostate cancer often runs in families.  Those with a father or brother who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease. The risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those with an affected father.)  In addition, the risk increases if the family members were diagnosed at young age.

Diet: Men who eat a lot of red meat or who consume a lot of calcium may have a higher risk of developing the disease.

Obesity: Most studies show an increased risk of developing the disease if they are obese.