MEN with a spare tire around their waist are significantly more likely to die of prostate cancer, a major study shows.
It turned out that every additional four centimeters around the middle increased the risk by seven percent.
Oxford University experts said the results were the first evidence that a bulging gut was bad news for the disease.
Experts estimate that there would be 1,300 fewer deaths from prostate cancer each year if the average weight of a British man were to fall by five BMI units.
For a 5ft 10in man, that equates to a loss of about two and a half stone.
One theory is that a large waist makes prostate cancer harder to detect, meaning cases are picked up later when they are more difficult to treat.
Obesity is known to trigger inflammation that could fuel cancer, while obesity also makes a key test less reliable.
Around 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – with around 12,000 deaths.
The lead researcher Dr. Aurora Perez-Cornago of the University of Oxford said: “We found that men with higher levels of total and central obesity have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer than men of a healthy weight.
“Knowing more about 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.
“Our latest findings add another reason for men to maintain a healthy weight.”
The analysis presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Maastricht examined 2.5 million men from 19 studies.
It also examined data from more than 200,000 men in the UK Biobank.
The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, found that for every 10 cm (3.9 inches) increase in waist circumference, the likelihood of dying from prostate cancer increases by seven percent.
And every five-point increase in BMI increases risk by 10 percent.
Karis Betts of Cancer Research UK, who co-funded the research, said: “Further studies are needed to investigate whether obesity increases the risk of developing prostate cancer 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.”
Simon Grieveson of Prostate Cancer UK said: “This large study suggests that being overweight is associated with an increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.
“While these results are compelling, more research is needed to fully understand the biological relationship between obesity and prostate cancer.
“Maintaining a healthy weight can protect against many types of cancer, but it’s important to remember that prostate cancer can affect men of all shapes and sizes.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8747285/warning-millions-weight-cancer-risk/ Warning to millions as your weight could predict your risk of deadly cancer