The University of Iowa’s part of a new national study of treatments for prostate cancer. Dr. Richard Williams says men will be asked to take vitamin “E,” the mineral Selenium, or both to see if they prevent prostate cancer.While there’s no absolute evidence either works, Williams says hints have shown up in other studies so there may be reason to hope the treatments will help. Williams says more than 180-thousand men are diagnosed each year with cancer of the prostate, and 32-thousand die from it. African-American men are at higher risk of prostate cancer, and Williams says they’re most likely to benefit from the study. Though both substances have shown promise, there’s no guarantee the vitamin or the mineral will prevent cancer in study volunteers, who won’t know what they’re getting.One-fourth of study participants will take Vitamin E, another quarter selenium; the others will take both, or nothing. Dr. Williams can’t promise the study will help men with cancer, though some will benefit if the treatments do prove to work. He says the people who’ll benefit are sons and grandsons of study volunteers because a primary relative of a prostate-cancer patient is three times as likely to get it. To volunteer or learn more, men can phone the U of I study center at (319) 356-1111 or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-cancer.
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