BMI, which is body-mass index together with waist circumference were recently studied as how they relate to prostate cancer. The results show that both factors can directly predict risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.
A new study suggests that the larger a man is, the greater his risk of getting and dying from aggressive prostate cancer.
Each additional segment of 4 inches of height increased a man’s chances of being diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer by 21 percent. Researchers found that this also increased their odds of dying from prostate cancer by 17 percent.
The size of a man’s waist yielded similar results in the study. With every 4-inch increase in waist circumference, the odds of developing aggressive prostate cancer were increased by 13 percent.The risk of dying from prostate cancer using this waist measuring criteria, increased by 18 percent.
The study researchers came to their conclusions based on data from nearly 142,000 men in eight European countries who participated in a large-scale study of cancer and nutrition.
There have been previous studies done that have suggested a potential link between prostate cancer and a man’s height or weight, but this study is the first to assess whether those factors influence the risk of being diagnosed with either a slow-growing or aggressive cancer.
As a statistic measured on its own, height by itself was not linked to a man’s overall risk of developing prostate cancer, nor was it associated with risk of being diagnosed with low- or intermediate-grade prostate cancer.
The results of the study did show that height did indeed influence a man’s risk of being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer.
Along the same lines, body-mass index and waist circumference were both shown to directly predict risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.
This particular study only found an association between height, weight and aggressive prostate cancer risk; it couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect link.
The association between height and prostate cancer risk isn’t a new finding. Researchers have long suspected that the increased risk from height could possibly be related to early childhood nutrition that promoted fast growth.
There are some theories in regards to the possible link between obesity and prostate cancer. One is that obesity influences hormones in the body in a way that promotes prostate cancer. The second is that it may simply be more difficult to catch prostate cancer early in men who are obese partly because the digital rectal exam is more difficult to do. If the men have a large prostate it’s easier for a doctor to miss something during an exam.
Another contributing factor could be that PSA blood tests for prostate cancer are less reliable in obese men, because they tend to have a higher volume of blood that dilutes and masks elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen.
The 15-year survival rate of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 96 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
The study was published July 12, 2017 in the journal BMC Medicine.