Prostate cancer, obese at greater risk

Obese men who have prostate cancer are at a higher risk of suffering from aggressive tumours, or a recurrence of cancer, than their slimmer counterparts.

    Obesity in the developed world has hit epidemic levels

    Two studies published on Monday by the Journal of Clinical Oncology

    recommend that 

    patients should maintain a normal body weight to reduce the risk of aggressive tumours.

    The studies examined the relationship between obesity and

    reappearances of prostate cancer across a broad range of men who had

    had their prostate gland removed due to cancer.

    One study team, led by Christopher Amling of the Naval Medical Centre's

    Department of Urology in San Diego,

    examined more than 3000 prostate cancer patients,

    19% of them obese.

    Medical studies

    Another study, led by Stephen Freedland of Johns Hopkins School

    of Medicine at Baltimore, Maryland, examined more than 1000 people,

    22% of them obese.

    "I would advise patients to maintain a normal body weight to

    limit the possibility that they would develop clinically

    significant, more aggressive prostate tumours"

    Christopher Amling,
    Naval Medical Center's Department of Urology

    According to Amling and Freedland, proteins and hormones

    contained in body fat might possibly favour the growth of cancerous

    prostate tumours among obese men.

    "The primary role of obesity in prostate cancer is still

    unclear, but it appears to induce the development of more aggressive

    tumours," said Christopher Amling

    .

    "I would advise patients to maintain a normal body weight to

    limit the possibility that they would develop clinically

    significant, more aggressive prostate tumours."

    Unknown causes

    Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men.

    The prostate is a small gland situated near a man's bladder and 

    produces one component of semen.

    If found early chances of survival are excellent, and modern surgical techniques and drugs mean that life-saving operations do not have to signal the end of sex lives.

    The causes of prostate cancer are not yet understood, but

    there is some suggestion that a fat-rich diet may contribute to it.

    SOURCE: AFP


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