Obesity and prostate cancer

Making sense out of apparently conflicting data

Stephen J. Freedland, Elizabeth A Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Both obesity and prostate cancer are epidemic in Western society. Although initial epidemiologic data appeared conflicting, recent studies, especially large prospective studies published in the past 6-12 months, have clarified the association between obesity and prostate cancer. The aim of this paper is to review the epidemiologic data linking obesity and prostate cancer, with an emphasis on new data published since 2005. A PubMed search was done on the keywords, "prostate cancer" and "obesity." Relevant articles and their references were reviewed for data on the association between obesity and prostate cancer. Recent data suggest that obesity is associated with reduced risk of nonaggressive disease but increased risk of aggressive disease. This may in part be explained by an inherent bias in our ability to detect prostate cancer in obese men (lower prostate-specific antigen values and larger sized prostates making biopsy less accurate for finding an existing cancer). Ultimately, this leads to increased risk of cancer recurrence after primary therapy and increased risk of prostate cancer mortality. The biologic causes of these associations are likely multifactorial, although the lower testosterone levels among obese men appear to be one of the most promising explanations. The association between obesity and prostate cancer is complex. Emerging data suggest a differential effect of obesity by disease aggressiveness: obesity may reduce the risk of nonaggressive disease while it may promote aggressive disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiologic Reviews
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

Fingerprint

Prostatic Neoplasms
Obesity
Prostate-Specific Antigen
PubMed
Testosterone
Prostate
Neoplasms
Prospective Studies
Biopsy
Recurrence
Mortality

Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • Obesity
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Obesity and prostate cancer : Making sense out of apparently conflicting data. / Freedland, Stephen J.; Platz, Elizabeth A.

In: Epidemiologic Reviews, Vol. 29, No. 1, 05.2007, p. 88-97.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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