According to an article recently published in the journal Cancer, middle-aged men who are obese at the time of prostate cancer diagnosis have a significantly worse overall survival than those who are not overweight.
The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It produces some of the fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in men. The outlook for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is good: overall survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer have improved dramatically during the past 20 years. Results from recent studies have indicated that obesity may negatively influence outcomes for patients with prostate cancer and various other cancers. Research continues to investigate potential associations between obesity and outcomes among patients diagnosed with cancer.
Researchers from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center recently conducted a clinical study to further evaluate potential associations between obesity and outcomes among patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. This study included 752 middle-aged men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Men with the highest body mass index (measure of body fat) had an approximate 2.5-fold increase in risk of death from prostate cancer.
- Among men diagnosed with prostate cancer that had not spread to distant sites in the body, those who were obese had more than a 3.5-fold increased risk of cancer spread (metastasis).
The researchers concluded that men who are obese at the time of diagnosis of prostate cancer have a significantly increased risk of dying from the disease. Furthermore, obese patients whose prostate cancer had not yet spread had a significantly increased risk of metastasis.
Patients diagnosed with prostate cancer who are obese may wish to discuss their individual treatment options with their physician.
Reference: Gong Z, Agalliu I, Lin D, et al. Obesity is associated with increased risks of prostate cancer metastasis and death after initial cancer diagnosis in middle-aged men. Cancer. 2007; 109: 1192 – 1202.
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