It is interesting that body fat distribution linked to higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer

Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Credit: Wikipedia

In the first prospective study of directly measured body fat distribution and prostate cancer risk, investigators unearthed that higher levels of abdominal and thigh fat are associated with an increased danger of aggressive prostate cancer. Published early online in a peer-reviewed journal associated with the American Cancer Society, the findings can result in a significantly better knowledge of the partnership between obesity and prostate cancer and supply new insights for treatment.

Previous research reports have shown that obesity is related to a heightened chance of advanced prostate cancer and a poorer prognosis after diagnosis. Also, emerging evidence shows that the precise distribution of fat in the torso may be an essential factor.

To offer high-quality evidence, Barbra Dickerman, Ph.D., associated with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, along with her colleagues analyzed body fat distribution using the gold-standard way of measuring computed tomography imaging and assessed the possibility of being identified as having, and dying from, prostate cancer among 1,832 Icelandic men who were followed for up to 13 years.

Throughout the study, 172 men developed prostate cancer, and 31 died from the disease. The accumulation of fat in specific areas—such as visceral fat (deep in the abdomen, surrounding the organs) and thigh subcutaneous fat (just under the skin)—was associated aided by the threat of advanced and fatal prostate cancer. High body mass index (BMI) and high waist circumference were also connected with higher risks of advanced and fatal prostate cancer.

Interestingly, when looking separately at men with a high BMI versus low BMI, we discovered that the association between visceral fat and advanced and fatal prostate cancer was stronger among men with a lower BMI. The precision of these estimates was limited in this subgroup analysis, but this might be an intriguing signal for future research.

Additional studies are needed to investigate the role of fat distribution when looking at the development and progression of prostate cancer and exactly how alterations in fat stores as time passes may affect patients’ health. Ultimately, identifying the patterns of fat distribution, which are from the highest risk of clinically significant prostate cancer might help to elucidate the mechanisms linking obesity with aggressive disease and target men for intervention strategies.

An accompanying editorial notes that lifestyle interventions—such as diet and exercise—that target fat loss may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Body fat distribution linked to higher risk of aggressive ….

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