According to a new study publishedin the journal Urology, a recurrentmalignancy is more likely following aprostatectomy in obese men comparedwith men of normal weight. While linkingobesity and the incidence ofprostate cancer is still considered controversial,2 studies have found the diseaserecurrence more common inobese men. One data review included2131 men who had undergone radicalprostatectomy. Over about a 2-yearperiod, 12% of the men experienced arecurrence of the disease. Men whosebody mass index (BMI) was greaterthan 35 were 69% more likely to have arecurrence of prostate cancer thanmen who had a BMI of 25 or less; menwith a BMI greater than 30 had a 31%increased risk of disease recurrence.Researchers suggest that the effect ofexcess fat on hormone levels may beresponsible, along with the difficultyinvolved in operating on an obesepatient. More research is necessary,they write, as is vigilant follow-up carefor obese patients who have undergonea radical prostatectomy.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.