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Health > Under the Rainbow9/14/05 IS Online

Prostate Cancer Can Be a Weighty Issue

By Kelly Kanayama

Men might not worry about being a perfect size 4, but here's a good reason for them to mind their weight. New research suggests that overweight men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Dr. Stephen J. Freedland, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and colleagues evaluated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and prostate cancer using data from 787 men undergoing prostate biopsy at Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center in California.

Obese men, whose BMI exceeded 35, faced over two times the normal-weight men's risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A higher BMI was significantly associated with increased odds of being diagnosed with prostate cancer after factoring in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, digital rectal examination findings, prostate size, and race. Higher BMI was also associated with significantly increased odds of tumor aggressiveness.

Freedland advises doctors to "be hypervigilant in looking for prostate cancer among obese men." He recommends that obese men undergo standard PSA testing yearly, and suggests that doctors might use "a lower cutpoint for recommending biopsies."

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