We all know that weight gain can cause a multitude of health problems from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. Now research is showing that carrying a few extra pounds may even increase your susceptibility to a recurrence of certain forms of cancer, such as prostate cancer.
The latest finding, published in an October 2005 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, was that people who were obese were more likely to experience a relapse of prostate cancer than people of a normal weight. Men who had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (clinically obese) at the time of receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer had a higher risk of the disease advancing quickly.
This condition is known as “biochemical failure.” This is basically a way of saying that prostate-specific antigen levels (also known as PSA, which is a sign of cancer) could start rising swiftly again after cancer treatment. This signals that the disease is not in remission and instead is once again attacking the body.
The obese patients experienced biochemical failure after undergoing surgery to remove the prostate. Normally, PSA rates would drop to nearly nonexistent levels after such a procedure, but in obese people, they kept rising. Men who were over 40 also experienced the added risk of experiencing this relapse.
Another thing to note is that people who gained weight quickly before their diagnosis experienced a faster progression of the disease compared to men who gained weight at a slower rate. This means that a weight-loss plan including diet and exercise might help patients at least slow down the development of prostate cancer. This could significantly increase their chances of survival.