Obesity has been directly linked to the development of a wide variety of diseases, including certain forms of cancer. While being overweight won’t necessarily cause prostate cancer to form, studies have found obesity may play a very strong role in the development of more aggressive forms of the disease.
Since the link between obesity and deadlier forms of prostate cancer has been found, researchers have been working to better understand just why that is. As it turns out, fat may actually fuel the growth of prostate cancer while promoting its spread. Some studies have indicated that the protein fat cells secrete is responsible for attracting tumor cells and aiding in their spread beyond the prostate itself. While many forms of prostate cancer are relatively easy to treat and may not even require medical intervention, aggressive forms of the disease are responsible for an estimated 30,000 deaths in America each year.
Approximately 200,000 American males are diagnosed with prostate cancer yearly. This disease has a number of risk factors, many which cannot be controlled. Obesity itself may not play a role in the actual development of the disease, but it can increase risks of death and complication. With that in mind, men who are obese or are nearing obese status are urged to take steps to reverse the condition. Eating smaller, balanced meals and exercising can make a big difference. If shedding pounds becomes difficult, doctors can offer assistance on this front.
Prostate cancer is considered a highly treatable disease in many cases. Men who are obese, however, may not find that to be the case for them. Taking action to control weight can help improve overall health while lowering risks for a wide variety of diseases. To learn more about prostate cancer, treatment and prevention, men should discuss the topic with their healthcare providers.