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Association between Trace Element and Heavy Metal Levels in Hair and Nail with Prostate Cancer

While associations between trace elements and heavy metals with prostate cancer are still debatable, they have been considered as risk factors for prostate cancer. Thus, this study aimed to detect any links between selected minerals and heavy metals including Se, Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe with prostate cancer. A case control study was carried out among 100 subjects (case n=50, control n=50), matched for age and ethnicity. Trace elements and heavy metals level in hair and nail samples were determined by ICP-MS. Mean selenium levels in hair and nail of the cases were significantly lower as compared to controls. A similar trend was noted for zinc in both hair and nail samples, whereas the mean level of copper was significantly higher in cases than controls. Similar elevation was noted for iron and manganese (p<0.05 for all parameters). Low levels of selenium and zinc and high levels of copper, iron and manganese appear to be associated with the risk of prostate cancer. Further studies to elucidate the causal mechanisms and appropriate chemopreventive measures are needed.