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An enlarged prostate could prevent tumors from growing

Monday February 4, 2019. 08:52 PM , from BoingBoing
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, prostate cancer is a leading cause of death for men in the US. Men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia, which causes their prostate to grow, often take medication or get surgery to reduce the size of it. But a new study reveals that 'it might be a bad idea to downsize an enlarged prostate through surgery or drugs,' says a press release from Purdue University, 'because doing so could lead to faster growth of prostate cancer.'
Computer simulations of patient data offer a possible explanation of why an enlarged prostate might be a lifesaver: because a prostate can only grow so much within a confined space, force accumulates and puts pressure on the tumor, effectively keeping it small.
'It's already known that forces and stresses have an impact on tumor growth, and that patients with enlarged prostates tend to have slower cancer growth, but it wasn't known why,' said Hector Gomez, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, who builds models and simulations for understanding tumor growth, cellular migration and blood flow.
Image: Computer simulations show for the first time that when a patient has a history of an enlarged prostate, tumors in the prostate barely grow at all. University of Pavia/Guillermo Lorenzo
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