Obesity Tied to Prostate Cancer Recurrence

A recent study shows that obesity can lead to a recurrence of prostate cancer. But this study also refutes past claims that the disease is more prevalent among African-Americans.

obesity tied to prostate cancer recurrenceA recent study of more than 1,400 men shows that obesity can lead to a recurrence of prostate cancer. But, this study also refutes past claims that the disease is more prevalent among African Americans.

The two study authors are members of the Duke University Medical Center Prostate Center. They examined the medical records of prostate cancer patients who’d had their prostates removed, and found no connection between ethnicity and how aggressive prostate cancer can be. But the findings did indicate that in both Caucasians and African-Americans, obesity can make the cancer more aggressive.

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Although the study doesn’t provide definitive answers, doctors suggest one reason could be hormone imbalance. One author explained that obesity can lead to an increase of estrogen while testosterone decreases. He said this lowering of testosterone may also make some tumors more aggressive.

Medical research has long linked obesity to a higher cancer risk. A University of California study in 2006 showed that among very obese men, the chance of prostate cancer recurrence is 70 percent higher than in other patients.

All older men should be vigilant about the possibility of prostate cancer. In its early stages, the disease has no symptoms. The American Cancer Society recommends that men who have a family history of this cancer should discuss testing with their doctor as early as age 40.

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