Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) may have greater risks of prostate cancer (PCa) and bladder cancer, according to a new review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Jianbo Xianyu, MD, of Mianyang Central Hospital in China, and colleagues identified 16 case-control studies and 10 cohort studies on the topic, published on or before March 2016. Randomized trials, cross-sectional studies, and other study types were excluded. The researchers found a low risk of publication bias in the included studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. All of the studies adjusted for patient age and other relevant factors.

According to the meta-analysis, PCa incidence was 4 times higher among men with BPH by case-control data and 1.4 times higher by cohort data. Likewise, bladder cancer incidence was elevated by 2.5 times and 1.6 times among BPH patients, according to the respective data sets.

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The investigators further noticed that PCa risk varied by ethnicity. Asian men with BPH had 6 times the risk of PCa, compared with 1.5 times greater risk among Caucasian men with BPH.

“In addition to epidemiological evidence, accumulating evidence indicates that hormones, inflammation, [and] metabolic syndrome are likely to play a role in BPH and prostate cancer,” Dr Xianyu and colleagues explained in Medicine. In regard to BPH and bladder cancer, residual urine may damage the lower urinary tract and prolong exposure to excreted carcinogens, they suggested.

Due to the potential for detection and other biases, future prospective studies are warranted to confirm the associations. According to the investigators, the current findings can be useful for cancer prevention and screening in men.


  1. Dai X, Fang X, Ma Y, and Xianyu J. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and the Risk of Prostate Cancer and Bladder Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Medicine, 95(18):e3493. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000003493.