On call: Obesity and prostate cancer

On call

Obesity and prostate cancer

Published: May, 2007

Q. Your newsletter convinced me that obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer. It depresses me a bit, since I'm overweight, so my question is both personal and practical: If I lose weight, will I undo the harm?

A. You are not alone in being concerned, since obesity is a big problem in the United States and in much of the world. But a 2007 study may lift your spirits. Researchers evaluated body mass index (BMI) and prostate cancer in 69,991 men who were enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Confirming other studies, they found that obesity was associated with an increased risk of aggressive, widespread, and fatal prostate cancers. But there's good news, too. Compared to men who held their weight steady, men who lost weight enjoyed a 42% lower risk of being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer.

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