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Obesity May Raise Risk of Prostate Cancer Spread

Study Shows Obese Men Are More Likely to See Their Cancer Spread

Tracking the Spread of Cancer continued...

The average age for the overweight and obese men was 65, Keto says. The normal-weight men were on average 67.

Keto says he can't explain exactly why the obese and overweight men with prostate cancer do worse.

"Obese man may not be receiving an adequate dose of the ADT," he says.

Obesity is also linked with increased levels of a number of hormones linked to both obesity and prostate cancer, he says.

However, even without a clear reason for the link, Keto says the benefits of weight loss for these men are clear, such as heart disease risk reduction.

Obesity and Prostate Cancer

The study findings build on similar research by Alan Kristal, DrPH, associate head of the cancer prevention program at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

In a study published in the journal Cancer in 2007, Kristal found that obesity more than doubled the odds of prostate cancer death among newly diagnosed men.

He reviewed the new study for WebMD. "It's a very small study," he says. "Nevertheless, it's consistent with other research studies that have found an association with obesity and poor prostate cancer outcome."

He, too, speculates that inflammation associated with obesity may promote the growth of prostate cancer cells.

In his view, the findings are just another reason to control weight as you age.

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