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Advanced prostate cancer linked to obesity

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New evidence suggests that men who are overweight or obese can increase their risk of developing “aggressive” prostate cancer, according to a report.

Reported by The Guardian, the study by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found strong evidence that obesity increases the risk of aggressive and potentially fatal prostate cancer.

The WCRF said, according to the news site, that the cumulative evidence of the link between putting on too much weight and advanced prostate cancer is now strong. They estimate that 10% of advanced prostate cancers in the UK – those that are terminal – could be prevented if men maintained a healthy weight.

The report looked at diet, nutrition, physical activity, weight and the risk of prostate cancer, and it considered the results from 104 studies involving more than nine million men, of which 191,000 of whom had prostate cancer.

It also found that being tall also increases the risk of prostate cancer. It found little evidence linking diets high in dairy products or calcium and an increased risk of prostate cancer, and low blood levels of vitamin E or selenium and an increased risk of developing cancer.

However, the report recommended maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthily and taking regular exercise to reduce the risk of developing cancer.

The Guardian reported that many prostate cancers are not aggressive or grow so slowly that they cause no harm in a man’s lifetime. But others are highly aggressive and can kill. Screening is controversial, because the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test can predict prostate cancer but not differentiate between those that need treatment and those that do not. Treatment carries the risk of severe side-effects including impotence.

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