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Height, Weight Can Increase Aggressive Prostate Cancer Risk

Most of the American men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the coming year will learn they have highly treatable, low-risk forms of the disease. That, however, is not always the case. Some tumors are deemed much more aggressive and do demand immediate intervention to improve the likelihood of positive outcomes. Researchers have recently added to the body of evidence that connects obesity to a greater risk for more aggressive tumors. Their study also shows that men who are considered tall and obese are at higher risk.

The study in question involved an analysis of data related to more than 141,000 men from across eight different countries. Of that group, more than 7,000 developed prostate cancer over the course of an average 14-year follow-up period. Nearly 730 of the men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer were determined to have high-grade tumors. Another nearly 1,400 men were diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. A total of 934 men died from prostate cancer during the study period.

Researchers ultimately found that height and weight played a role in the risk for diagnosis with high-grade cancers. It also impacted mortality rates. Every 4 inches of additional height found in men was attributed to a 21 percent higher risk of high-grade cancer. There was also a 17 percent increased risk of dying from the disease. Greater waist circumferences also increased risk by 13 percent for higher grade cancers. The risk of mortality rose by 18 percent for men who were deemed obese.

While a definitive link between size and the development of prostate cancer has not been made, weight and height can play a role in increasing risks for aggressive tumors. Men who are concerned about their prostate cancer risks are strongly urged to discuss this condition with their healthcare providers. Routine screening can help detect this condition in its earliest, often most treatable phases. If obesity is a concern, losing weight may help lower the risk for high-grade tumors.