Men who have been diagnosed with the most aggressive types of prostate cancer may have denser bones, according to a trial conducted at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
Previous studies have found that this form of cancer commonly spreads to the bones, and in order to better understand how certain bone characteristics affect the advancement of this disease, researchers analyzed the bone density of more than 500 men. Over the course of several years, the team compared this information to the number of individuals who developed prostate cancer.
Despite a decline in bone density as people age, the results of this trial showed that of the 76 patients who were diagnosed with the disease, their bone density levels remained much higher than their cancer-free counterparts.
“There may be some difference between men who develop prostate cancer, especially metastatic disease, and those who dont, and it was logical to see if there was something different about their bones,” said Stacy Loeb, a resident in the urology department at the school. She added that discovering the connection could lead to “strategies for preventing prostate cancer from occurring or spreading.”
In 2006, a total of 203,415 men in the U.S. were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and of these individuals, more than 28,000 patients died from the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.