If you’re a man worried about prostate cancer, researchers in California have found a way to make it less likely that it will kill you. This simple approach might cut your chances of fatal prostate cancer by 50 percent.
Easing the possible mortal effects of prostate cancer entails losing weight. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena found that men who are overweight or obese when diagnosed with prostate cancer are much more likely to die from the cancer than men who have a healthy weight.
“We found among patients undergoing surgical treatment for prostate cancer, weight at time of diagnosis is more strongly correlated with prostate cancer survival than many other factors researchers have studied in the past, including some prostate cancer treatments,” says researcher Reina Haque, Ph.D. “Moving forward, we are hoping future studies will examine the effect of weight loss and other lifestyle modifications on prostate cancer mortality.”
The researchers identified men who died of prostate cancer and compared their BMI (body mass index) at time of diagnosis to controls to determine if body weight is related prostate cancer death. The biological relationship between obesity and prostate cancer prognosis is still not understood, and is an active area of research.
The scientists discovered that men who died from prostate cancer were 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese at diagnosis compared to men who did not die from the cancer. Men with high Gleason scores, a rating of the prostate cancer aggressiveness, experienced the highest association between BMI and death. (This especially applied to men with Gleason scores of 8 or higher.) Gleason score ranges from 2 to 10. Higher numbers represent the greatest likelihood of the cancer spreading.