David Samadi, M.D. on the Link Between Obesity and Prostate Cancer

This is a very important study. The relationship between obesity and prostate cancer is being more and more established. Our thinking about obesity over the last few years has changed - especially about the abdominal fat. Central obesity can increase the risk of diabetes and prostate cancer, especially high risk prostate cancer. The concept of metabolic syndrome that involves diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and increased cancer risk is well established.

Years ago we thought of obesity as just fat. Now we are treating it as though it is an organ that can secrete hormones such as insulin-like interlukins that can increase the risk for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in this country. The first being ling cancer. Close to 186,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and close to 40,000 will die. So what this study tells you is that when you see an obese patient in front of you and they are not diagnosed with prostated cancer  every attempt should be made to encourage them to lose the weight. Not only will it help them reduce the dangers from cardiac disease, high blood pressure, obesity, it will also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

We need more randomized studies to really know the cause and effect of this. But for now I think that this is convincing evidence to show that there is a connection between obesity and prostate cancer, specifically the increase of death from prostate of death and high risk disease.


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