Previous studies have associated higher milk intake with greater prostate cancer (PCa) incidence, but little data are available concerning milk types and the relation between milk intake and risk of fatal PCa. We investigated the association between intake of dairy products and the incidence and survival of PCa during a 28-y follow-up. We conducted a cohort study in the Physicians' Health Study (n = 21,660) and a survival analysis among the incident PCa cases (n = 2806). Information on dairy product consumption was collected at baseline. PCa cases and deaths (n = 305) were confirmed during follow-up. The intake of total dairy products was associated with increased PCa incidence [HR = 1.12 (95% CI: 0.93, 1.35); >2.5 servings/d vs. ≤0.5 servings/d]. Skim/low-fat milk intake was positively associated with risk of low-grade, early stage, and screen-detected cancers, whereas whole milk intake was associated only with fatal PCa [HR = 1.49 (95% CI: 0.97, 2.28); ≥237 mL/d (1 serving/d) vs. rarely consumed]. In the survival analysis, whole milk intake remained associated with risk of progression to fatal disease after diagnosis [HR = 2.17 (95% CI: 1.34, 3.51)]. In this prospective cohort, higher intake of skim/low-fat milk was associated with a greater risk of nonaggressive PCa. Most importantly, only whole milk was consistently associated with higher incidence of fatal PCa in the entire cohort and higher PCa-specific mortality among cases. These findings add further evidence to suggest the potential role of dairy products in the development and prognosis of PCa.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00000500.