Health Care

Tall obese men at greater risk of developing prostrate cancer

Tall obese men at greater risk of developing prostrate cancer

20-year study found little difference in death rates, more complications with surgery.

In 2014, there were 46,960 new cases of prostate cancer and 11,287 deaths from the disease in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK.

Stevens and Perez-Cornago did not agree whether tall men and obese men should be tested more frequently for prostate cancer. However, the increased risks were observed when it comes to high grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death.

"Our results demonstrate that for the large majority of men with localized prostate cancer, selecting observation for their treatment choice can help them live a similar length of life, avoid death from prostate cancer, and prevent harms from surgical treatment", said Dr. Timothy Wilt, an internist at the Minneapolis VA who led the study, in an email.

Dr Behfar Ehdaie from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NY, who was not involved in the study, said: '[The findings] reassure men with low-risk disease who have a life expectancy greater than 10 years that active surveillance is safe and offers better overall quality of life compared to radical treatment'.

Prostate cancer is the second leading type of cancer for men after skin cancer.

Every additional 4 inches of height increased a man's chances of being diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer by 21 percent, and their odds of dying from prostate cancer by 17 percent, researchers found.

Tall and overweight men are in greater danger of aggressive prostate cancer, it was revealed earlier this month.

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"There's a real art to parsing out who needs to be treated and who doesn't", he said. Wilt said surgery may still be the best option for men with long life expectancies whose cancers are detected when they are younger.

Dr Wilt said: 'Men now diagnosed with prostate cancer will have even better long-term overall and prostate cancer survival with observation. Higher BMI was also found to be linked with risk of developing high-grade tumours. The difference is not statistically significant, the researchers noted.

They say obese men may be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, because they have lower concentrations of prostate-specific antigens, are less likely to undergo a biopsy and tend to have larger prostates, making detection more hard. That difference also was not statistically significant, according to the report.

Prostate cancer expert Dr. Sumanta Pal agreed with Stevens. He said, "In many low-risk patients, prostate cancer can take a very indolent course, so even if left intact, there may be patients who have no significant progression of their disease over an extended time-frame".

Previous studies have suggested a potential link between prostate cancer and a man's height or weight, but this is the first to assess whether those factors influence the risk of being diagnosed with either a slow-growing or aggressive cancer, Perez-Cornago said. Those guys often do better with active treatment such as surgery or radiation-so the message of this study is not that every man with prostate cancer can simply forego treatment. "What this study says is we have to pay attention to what we find at the time of diagnosis, and then tailor the best treatment for that particular man".

The link with height, reported in the journal BMC Medicine, only applied to cancers that fell into the "tiger" category.

For more about prostate cancer treatment, visit the American Cancer Society.


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