A MAN's blood group has been shown to significantly influence the chance that prostate cancer will return after successful surgery.
Men with group O blood are far less likely to suffer a recurrence of the disease following surgical intervention.
By contrast men with blood group A were shown by new research to be 35 per cent more likely to fall victim to the disease again - even after surgery.
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Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in European men and 40,000 cases are diagnosed in Britain annually.
Study author Dr Yoshio Ohno, of Tokyo Medical University, said: "This is the first time that anyone has shown that prostate cancer recurrence can vary with blood group.
"As yet, we don't know why the risks vary, but this work may guide us towards new avenues of molecular research on prostate cancer progression.
"Should we be counselling people with certain blood groups that they have a greater or lesser chance of recurrence, and should these risk factors be built into decisions on treatment?"
An individual's blood group is determined by the presence of different antigens and antibodies. Antigens and antibodies serve as the blood's defences against foreign substances.