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Weight Loss May Cut Prostate Cancer Risk

Obesity, on the other hand, boosts odds of more aggressive disease, study finds

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Losing weight may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, says an American Cancer Society study of nearly 70,000 men. The study also found that obesity increases the risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.

The men in this study were enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. The men reported their weight in 1982 and again 10 years later. The men were then followed until 2003. During that time, 5,000 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Men who lost at least 11 pounds between 1982 and 1992 were about half as likely as other men to be diagnosed with nonmetastatic, aggressive high-grade prostate cancer. Both weight gain and weight loss seemed to be associated with a reduced risk of nonmetastatic low-grade prostate cancer. The study found no significant associations between weight gain or weight loss and the risk of metastatic or fatal prostate cancer.

"Obesity is one of the most prevalent modifiable cancer risk factors. Previous studies have linked maintaining a healthy weight and weight loss to a decreasing risk of breast cancer," study author Dr. Carmen Rodriguez said in a prepared statement.

"Our study linking obesity to aggressive prostate cancer adds to increasing evidence of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight through adult life. Although our study suggests that weight loss may lower the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, given the difficulty of losing weight, emphasis should be put on the importance of avoiding weight gain to reduce the risk of prostate cancer," Rodriguez said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: American Cancer Society, news release, Dec. 21, 2006
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