Thursday, July 21, 2011

Androgens Linked to Liver Cancer in Men?

I write this article with major reservations on the study. The reason I say this is because for years people were duped into believing estrogen was the cause of breast cancer in women. While estrogen and progesterone in women can cause breast cancer to grow in estrogen/progesterone receptor positive cancer, it is not actually the cause of the cancer. This study leads us to believe that the androgens or the gene controlled by the androgens is the reason for the high numbers of liver cancers in men. I would think that if this was the case there would be a lot more liver cancer in our communities. Then again I am no scientist, but more of a muscle head than anything.

Hong Kong - Chinese researchers at the University of Hong Kong find men are more susceptible to liver cancer due to a type of gene linked to androgen's. A study conducted in 2008 showed that more than 70 percent of men with liver cancer produced high levels of a gene called cell cycle-related kinase (CCRK).

The study showed the gene, one out of more than 17000, in the human body is directly controlled and activated by the receptor protein of the male sex hormone (Androgen).

"This study has a potential clinical impact as it depicts the correlation between androgen receptor and liver cancer development. It also provides an explanation on why men have a higher risk of liver cancer than women," said, university vice chancellor Joseph Sung and research team leader Mok Hing-yiu.

The Chinese researchers studied other risk factors such as occupation, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking, looking for reasons men were more susceptible to the disease to no avail. None of these factors could fully explain why mens rate of disease is so much higher.

The study showed that blocking the androgen receptor (CCRK) pathway in mice could significantly reduce tumor growth rate.

The study also showed that men were three times more likely to develop liver cancer than women in Hong Kong. Liver cancer is the third most deadly cancer in the world behind lung cancer and colon cancer, and currently there is no effective treatment. Close to 40 percent of liver cancer is diagnosed in the later stages of disease. The numbers are as high as 80 percent in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

In the United States more than 19,000 people are diagnosed yearly with liver cancer, with only 2000 people surviving the disease.

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