Many prostate cancers – the most common cancer in men with around 52,000 cases a year in the UK – grow slowly and may not harm a man, while others are aggressive and deadly
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An extra 10cm of length around the waist increases a man’s risk of dying from prostate cancer by 7%, new research shows.
Oxford University conducted the largest research study to date on the disease, involving 2.5 million men, and found that beer bellies increase the risk of developing deadly prostate cancer.
Researchers estimate that 1,300 such deaths a year could be avoided if the average body mass index (BMI) were five points lower.
Many prostate cancers grow slowly and cannot harm a man during the patient’s lifetime, while others are aggressive and deadly.
Review of 19 studies presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Maastricht, Netherlands suggests that visceral fat around the waist could be a risk factor for the more deadly form.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with around 52,000 cases per year in the UK and 12,000 deaths.
Director of Studies Dr. Aurora Perez-Cornago of the University of Oxford said: “Knowing more about the factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer is key to prevention.
“Age, family history, and Black ethnicity are known risk factors, but they cannot be changed, and so it is important to discover risk factors that can be changed.
“We found that men with higher overall and central obesity have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer than men with a healthy weight.”
Visceral fat was measured at the beginning of the studies, which followed the participants for many years. Around 20,000 of the men involved died of prostate cancer.
In addition to belly fat, carrying too much weight overall was associated with an increased risk of fatal prostate cancer.
It has been found that every five point increase in BMI increases the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 10%, while a 5% increase in total body fat increases the risk by 3%.
A 5ft 11in man would have to move 2.5 stone to lose five BMI points.
The review, also published in the journal BMC Medicine, failed to show whether obesity contributes to the development of more deadly tumors.
Another theory has been that prostate cancer is less likely to be diagnosed early in obese men, meaning it’s harder to treat when it has been.
Karis Betts, manager at Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said: “This study looks at the likelihood of dying from prostate cancer for people who are overweight or obese, but further studies are looking at whether obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer to get sick are needed in the first place.
“While the jury is out on the relationship between prostate cancer and obesity, maintaining a healthy weight is still important because obesity causes 13 other cancers.
“By building on these useful insights, scientists can begin to unravel what the mechanism of prostate cancer and obesity might be, and help them better understand who is at increased risk of developing and dying from the disease.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/extra-four-inches-around-waist-26875495 An extra 10 cm around the waist increases men's risk of dying from prostate cancer