Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Epidemiology and Biostatistics



First Advisor

Susan Steck


Many epidemiologic studies have reported a positive association between dairy products and prostate cancer. This association is thought to be generated by calcium or saturated fatty acids found in dairy products. This study utilized data from the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP), a case-only study, to investigate the association between dairy products, calcium, and aggressive and high-grade prostate cancer. Dairy product and calcium intake were measured with the NCI Diet History Questionnaire for 1,489 participants. No statistically significant associations were found between total dairy, milk, cheese, ice cream, or calcium and aggressive or high-grade prostate cancer. However, the association between total dairy and prostate cancer aggressiveness and grade was modified by NSAID use (p for interaction = 0.01 for both aggressiveness and grade). The association between calcium and aggressiveness and grade differed by race, but this difference was not statistically significant. These results do not suggest that dairy products or calcium increase risk of aggressive or high-grade prostate cancer. However, the association between dairy intake and prostate cancer aggressiveness/grade may be modified by other factors such as NSAID use.