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Obesity increases prostate cancer risk

Men who are overweight or obese when diagnosed with prostate cancer have a greater risk of death following treatment than those of normal weight, research reveals.

A study of over 200,000 men in America found that those with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 kg/m2 were twice as likely to die from locally advanced prostate cancer as patients who had a normal BMI.

It is already known that obesity is a risk factor for clinically aggressive prostate cancer but less is known of the impact it has on survival following treatment.

The researchers found that men with a BMII over 30 were 1.6 times more likely to die from the disease compared to men of a normal BMI.

After five years, men with a normal rate had a 7% mortality rate compared with a 13% rate for those with a BMI over 25.

Study author Dr Efstathio said: “Further studies are warranted to evaluate the mechanisms for this increased cancer-specific mortality among overweight and obese men and to assess the impact of BMI on survival following other management strategies and in clinically localised disease.

“Whether weight loss after prostate cancer diagnosis alters disease course remains to be determined.”