Study links obesity to more agressive prostate cancer

Wed Jun 2, 1:59 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The size of a cancerous prostate tumor is directly proportional to the weight of the patient and the bigger the tumor the more aggressive the cancer, a study published Wednesday has found.

"As the patients' body mass index increased, the tumor volume increased synchronously," said Dr. Nilesh Patil, who led the six-year study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.

"Based on our results, we believe having a larger percentage of tumor volume may be contributing to the aggressive nature of the disease in men with a higher BMI," he said.

The body mass index, or BMI, is calculated by dividing a person's weight by the square of his or her height.

The doctors established the relationship after analyzing the cases of 3,327 patients who had cancerous prostate tumors surgical removed through a robotic procedure.

The subjects of the research were divided into six categories according to their BMI, with a rating of 24.9 considered normal or underweight, 25 to 29.9 overweight, 30 to 34.9 obese and 40 or higher extremely obese.

The patients' median age was 60 in all the categories.

The researchers weighed each tumor and compared them to a categorized database of prostate weight.

In each BMI category without exception, they found the patient's weight was in direct correlation with the size of the tumor.