Obesity may increase risk for prostate cancer.




British Journal of Urology International

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Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, excluding skin cancer, in men in the United States. It is primarily diagnosed in men over 65, although it may begin much earlier. Some carcinomas of the prostate are very slow growing, while others behave aggressively. Prostate cancer often metastasizes to other tissue, including the brain, lungs, lymph nodes, and bones. Early detection is critical in order to increase the chances for survival. The cancer can be palpated upon digital rectal examination (DRE). These examinations are recommended routinely for all men over the age of 50 and high-risk men should commence at age 40.

The majority of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. While most prostate cancers are found in the peripheral zone, they may occur anywhere in the prostate. Most pathologists use the Gleason grading system to assess the tumor progression. A score from 2 to 4 indicates a well-differentiated cancer; 5 to 6 correlates with a moderately differentiated cancer; and 7 to 10 indicates a poorly differentiated cancer. The poorer the differentiation of the cancer cells, the worse the prognosis. Well-differentiated tumors grow slowly, whereas poorly differentiated tumors grow rapidly and are associated with a poor prognosis.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Urology International, investigated obesity in prostate cancer cases. Researchers reviewed records of patients with prostate cancer and those with BHP, which is a condition described by overgrowth of tissue in the prostate. 194 BHP cases and 194 cases of cancer were included in this research. The average age for the individuals was 69.5 years. After analysis, the results showed that obesity was associated with prostate cancer. In this particular study, obese men had a 2.5 times greater risk of prostate cancer.1


1. Irani J, et al. Obesity in relation to prostate cancer risk: comparison with a population having benign prostatic hyperplasia. BJU International. Apr 2003;91(6):482.