Prostate Cancer and Asbestos: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Frédéric Dutheil, Laetitia Zaragoza-Civale, Bruno Pereira, Martial Mermillod, Julien BAKER, Jeannot Schmidt, Fares Moustafa, Valentin Navel

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INTRODUCTION: Asbestos-related diseases and cancers represent a major public health concern. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to demonstrate that asbestos exposure increases the risk of prostate cancer. METHODS: The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, and ScienceDirect databases were searched using the keywords (prostate cancer OR prostatic neoplasm) AND (asbestos* OR crocidolite* OR chrysotile* OR amphibole* OR amosite*). To be included, articles needed to describe our primary outcome: Risk of prostate cancer after any asbestos exposure. RESULTS: We included 33 studies with 15,687 cases of prostate cancer among 723,566 individuals. Asbestos exposure increased the risk of prostate cancer (effect size = 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05-1.15). When we considered mode of absorption, respiratory inhalation increased the risk of prostate cancer (1.10, 95% CI = 1.05-1.14). Both environmental and occupational exposure increased the risk of prostate cancer (1.25, 95% CI = 1.01-1.48; and 1.07, 1.04-1.10, respectively). For type of fibers, the amosite group had an increased risk of prostate cancer (1.12, 95% CI = 1.05-1.19), and there were no significant results for the chrysotile/crocidolite group. The risk was higher in Europe (1.12, 95% CI = 1.05-1.19), without significant results in other continents. DISCUSSION: Asbestos exposure seems to increase prostate cancer risk. The main mechanism of absorption was respiratory. Both environmental and occupational asbestos exposure were linked to increased risk of prostate cancer. CONCLUSION: Patients who were exposed to asbestos should possibly be encouraged to complete more frequent prostate cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Permanente journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine(all)


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