The fact that obesity can increase a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer is not news — it’s well documented. A while back, while discussing prostate cancer in general, Cedars-Sinai urologist Dr. Stephen Freedland told SurvivorNet that being obese increases a man’s risk of not just getting prostate cancer, but dying from the disease, by 35 percent. That’s a really significant spike. Now, a new study is indicating that the risk for aggressive prostate cancer may increase depending on where in the body fat is stored. What researchers found was that men with excess thigh and abdomen fat had a higher risk of getting aggressive prostate cancer.
The study was published online in CANCER, an American Cancer Society journal, with the intention of providing new insights into how to treat prostate cancer. “This research provides support for body fat distribution as an important prognostic factor for advanced and fatal prostate cancer. This information may help to flag men for targeted intervention strategies,” study author Barbra Dickerman, Ph.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told SurvivorNet.Read More
Dr. Freedland also explained that he’s done a lot of work and research on the topic, which involved speaking to many dietitians. “Amazingly, there’s actually only two things I can get all the dieticians to agree on. One is trans fats are bad; we know that. They’re getting out of the American diet and that’s good thing. The second is simple sugars are not good. They taste good; we enjoy them. But there’s really no nutriant value in them. And when you eat simple sugar, what happens is your insulin levels go up, and insulin is a growth factor for prostate cancer … it really is that simple.”
Dr. Freedland said making changes like phasing out simple sugars (cookies, cakes, candies), exercising more, and quitting harmful habits like smoking could make a great difference when it comes to reducing prostate cancer risk.