/publications/issue/2005/2005-12/2005-12-5064

Weight Gain Increases Recurrence of Prostate Cancer

Author: Susan Farley

Recent research has shown that a rapid weight gain between the ages of 25 and 40 will double the likelihood of a recurrence of prostate cancer. The same research also suggests that men who are 40 years of age and obese at the time of their prostate cancer diagnosis will also have a greater risk for recurrence. Researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center evaluated selfreported measures of obesity for 526 prostate cancer patients who received radical prostatectomy. They found that men who were obese when diagnosed had higher rates of biochemical failure—the increase in prostate-specific antigen levels in the blood after the prostate is removed. Researchers also determined that men who were obese at age 40 had significantly lower biochemical failure-free survival than those who were not obese at age 40. Not only was obesity between the ages of 25 and 40 associated with higher risk of biochemical failure, but so was an annual weight gain of 3.5 lb or more between age 25 time of prostate cancer diagnosis. Men who continuously gained weight from age 25 were more likely to experience a progression of the cancer sooner than those who kept off the weight.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.