A new study has found that drugs used by thousands of men to treat asthma may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
The study, conducted by a team of scientists in Melbourne, Australia, has shown that men who regularly take inhaled steroids to keep their asthma under control are almost 40 per cent more likely than men without asthma to develop a tumour.
Those who regularly use another type of inhaler - a bronchodilator - to relieve wheezing are 36 per cent more at risk of the disease.
But the biggest danger appears to be among men with severe asthma who frequently need treatment with steroid tablets or injections.
According to the study, among this group, the risk of cancer increases by up to 70 per cent, reports the Daily Mail.
Cancer experts, however, stressed findings were preliminary, from a small study, and needed to be confirmed by much bigger studies before any change in asthma drug use could be considered.
The results have been published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.