The new study showed that there is a higher rate of prostate cancer relapse and death in overweight patients.
Dr. Eric Horwitz, an expert in oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and one of the researchers involved in the study, explained the new research shows that cancer treatments are less effective in men who have increased weight.
According to Dr. Horwitz, the radiation treatment doesn’t seem to be as efficient with overweight prostate cancer patients as it is with normal weight patients.
Also, the new study suggests that overweight or obese patients had a 3% higher rate of cancer relapse and a 7% higher rate of cancer spreading.
Overweight men also had a 15% increased rate of dying of cancer and a 5% higher rate of dying from other causes.
According to a recent report revealed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity in the United States has doubled in the last 40 years.
Obesity is often linked with numerous health conditions, including different types of cancer, but the association with prostate cancer is still not very clear, the researchers said.
Unlike normal weight patients who can undergo surgical treatment for prostate cancer, overweight and obese men can only be treated using radiation.
The new study involved 1,442 men with the average age of 68. All the men received radiation treatment for the prostate cancer for 9 years. The researchers followed the men for an average of 4 years.
Dr. David Samadi, researcher at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that the treatment is less effective for obese and overweight men because the tumor progresses more rapidly to distant metastasis.
Dr. Samadi added that while this may be one of the factors that explain why overweight men with prostate cancer face greater risk compared to normal weight patients, further research is needed to determine if there is a relationship between these factors.
Dr. Manish Vira, researcher at Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y, added that the new study confirms previous findings which link obesity to an increased and more aggressive form of prostate cancer.
Dr. Vira said that further studies could reveal why being overweight or obese can lead to a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.
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