Men who are overweight are more likely than thinner men to be diagnosed with prostate cancers that are less likely to be detected on screening and more likely to be aggressive, according to a report in the medical journal Urology.
“Obesity may actually be associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, but various features among obese men make it harder to detect the cancer,” Dr Stephen J Freedland from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, explained to Reuters Health.
“If you do find them, it’s probably the more aggressive cancers that you are finding.”
Freedland and colleagues evaluated the relationship between body mass index (BMI), a height-to-weight ratio used to estimate body fat, and prostate cancer and various other factors using data from 787 consecutive men undergoing prostate biopsy at Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, California.
Whether or more intensive screening can reduce the increased risk of prostate cancer deaths was observed among obese men before and just after measurement of PSA levels became commonplace still needs to be established, he and his colleagues conclude.
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