Tell-tale risk factor for prostate cancer appears in late teens

A new study found a little-known, but highly significant link between a common condition suffered during adolescence and prostate cancer risk.

I’ve actually been talking about childhood and adolescent risk factors for cancer for a long time.

In fact, 30 years ago, while researching for my Ph.D. dissertation, I uncovered findings that childhood factors do contribute to your long-term risk of cancer, especially breast cancer in women, and prostate cancer in men.

And the new study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, looked at long-term data on approximately 240,000 young men entering the Swedish military in the 1970s. I’ve written about other findings in this cohort before.

In particular, the researchers accessed the men’s health data and medical diagnoses from when they enlisted. Most were about 18 or 19 years old.

Researchers then followed the men’s health outcomes recorded in the Swedish medical database over the next 37 years.

During that follow-up period, approximately 1,600 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. And one clear factor stood out to researchers…

Teenage complexion reveals significant risk factor

Turns out, the men who suffered with acne at the study’s outset had a 43 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer — especially “advanced stage” or aggressive prostate cancer. (On the other hand, there was only a “borderline” connection between acne and less-aggressive “cancer” findings.)

Men with “severe” acne were 5.7 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who did not experience acne. (Indeed, in order to be noted at all in a medical chart, the acne condition is typically extensive and very severe.)

Granted, just 2 percent of men in the study suffered from acne severe enough to be mentioned in the medical charts. And that rate is much lower than other populations.

But remember, the physicians made these notes about the men’s acne at just one point in time — as they were entering into the military. If researchers had looked further into the participants’ medical history, the rate would likely be much higher.

Plus, this isn’t the first study linking acne and prostate cancer. Back in 2007, another cohort study had found increased risk of prostate cancer in men who had treated their acne with a commonly used antibiotic.

Bacteria implicated in prostate cancer

The researchers say these new findings add to accumulating evidence suggesting that Propionibacterium acnes (or P. acnes) may play a role in causing prostate cancer. P. acnes is part of the normal biotic flora of the skin, the large intestine, and other organs.

And it’s also the most common bacteria found in prostate specimens. In fact, research links P. acnes to chronic inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis). The bacteria is also more common in the prostate glands of men with prostate cancer.

Of course, I see chronic inflammation as a common denominator for cancer and other chronic diseases, such as dementia. But what’s even more amazing to me is that none of the expert interviews about this study noted the “elephant in the room”…

Hormone levels.

Surging hormones may increase prostate cancer risk

Surging androgen hormones — such as testosterone — are associated with adolescent acne. Of course, they’re also associated with prostate cancer risk.

Unfortunately, doctors don’t know what to do about this dangerous association… except brutally remove the testes in men with prostate cancer.

Fortunately, there are four key steps you can take right now to help protect yourself against prostate cancer:

  1. Recall your history of acne. If you experienced moderate to severe acne in adolescence, make sure you remain extra vigilant with regular screenings.
  2. If you’re 50 or older, make sure you see your doctor for an annual physical exam, including annual digital rectal exams. And be sure to skip the deeply flawed prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which is wrong 75 percent of the time. The PSA test was originally designed only for use in men already diagnosed with prostate cancer to help doctors monitor progression (or regression) of a real cancer.
  3. Make sure you eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables, red meat, and full-fat dairy. These foods will help correct any nutritional deficiencies you may be suffering from.
  4. Continue to supplement year-round with 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Low vitamin D is another HUGE risk factor for prostate cancer. But the mainstream continues to ignore it and wrongly target dietary fats.

To learn about the four other nutrients every man over 50 should take, check out the June 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“The big fat reason why so much prostate cancer research is flawed”). Not yet a subscriber? No problem. All it takes is just one click.

In addition, I’m in the process of compiling 30 years of research on all the natural approaches to prevent and reverse prostate cancer and other prostate concerns in a brand-new online learning protocol. I look forward to sharing all of the groundbreaking research and recommendations with you later this year. So, stay tuned!

P.S. Tune back in tomorrow for an update on one of the well-known, natural approaches for supporting prostate health.


“Acne in late adolescence and risk of prostate cancer,” Int J Cancer. 2018 Apr 15;142(8):1580-1585

“Teen Acne Tied o Prostate Cancer Risk,” Medscape ( 12/13/2017