More research needed into cholesterol prostate cancer link

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has called for further research after a study claimed to have identified a link between cholesterol intake and prostate cancer risk.

The research, by the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Italy and published in the annals of Oncology, used questionnaires to assess men's medical histories, including their previous cholesterol levels.

"This study is based on questionnaires rather than directly measured cholesterol levels, so follow-up research is needed before the firm conclusion can be drawn that high cholesterol levels are directly linked to prostate cancer risk," said Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK.

"There is some evidence to suggest that men who eat a high fat diet have a greater risk of prostate cancer, but we do not know for sure whether high levels of fats in the bloodstream actually cause prostate cancer.

"It may be that men who lead a typical western lifestyle are exposed to other factors that could increase their risk," he added.

Some previous research has suggested a link between prostate cancer and cholesterol levels, but firm evidence has remained elusive.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease among men in the UK, with 30,100 new cases diagnosed every year.

Find out more about prostate cancer