Obesity ups odds that prostate cancer will recur

Men who gain weight rapidly between the ages of 25 and 40 are twice as likely to experience a recurrence of Prostate cancer after surgery as men who keep the pounds off, research suggests. Men who are obese at age 40 and at the time of Prostate cancer diagnosis also have a higher risk of recurrence.

“At any age, but especially in the adult population, keeping a healthy weight and diet will not only help Prostate cancer patients to potentially reduce the chance of the cancer to recur, but will also reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and Diabetes,” said Dr. Sara S. Strom from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

Strom and colleagues evaluated self-reported measures of Obesity at different ages in a group of 526 Prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) in an effort to predict biochemical failure, which is the increase in PSA levels in the blood after removal of the prostate, the primary source of this protein. After removal of the prostate gland, the PSA level should be undetectable.

Prostate cancer involves a malignant tumor growth within the prostate gland.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, although some studies have shown a relationship between high dietary fat intake and increased testosterone levels. When testosterone levels are lowered either by surgical removal of the testicles (castration, orchiectomy) or by medication, prostate cancer can regress. There is no known association with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

For more information check: Prostate cancer

Strom and colleagues report that men who were obese at the time of diagnosis had marginally higher rates of biochemical failure, but those who were obese at age 40 had significantly lower biochemical failure-free survival than did those who were not obese at age 40.

Obesity between age 25 and 40 was associated with more than a doubling of the biochemical failure risk, according to a report in the October 1st issue of Clinical Cancer Research, as was an annual weight gain in excess of about three and a half pounds per year between age 25 and the diagnosis of Prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over 75 years old. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.
Men at higher risk include black men older than 60, farmers, tire plant workers, painters, and men exposed to cadmium. The lowest incidence occurs in Japanese men and vegetarians.

Prostate cancers are classified or staged based on their aggressiveness and how different they are from the surrounding prostate tissue. There are several different ways to stage tumors, a common one being the A-B-C-D staging system, also known as the Whitmore-Jewett system.
For more information check: Prostate cancer

Men who gained more weight since age 25 also experienced progression significantly sooner than those who gained weight more slowly or not at all, the researchers note.

Strom said physicians need “to pay attention to the level of Obesity of the patients and to reinforce the need for strict follow-ups to monitor the disease. In addition, (they need) to take weight gain and Obesity into consideration when discussing the possibility/need of additional treatments.”

SOURCE: Clinical Cancer Research, October 1, 2005.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD