Men with these two physical attributes at greater risk of dying from prostate cancer

Men with these two physical attributes at greater risk of dying from prostate cancer

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Men who are both tall and obese are at greater risk of higher grade - or more serious prostate cancer - according to researchers. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men.

A research team led by the University of Oxford risk of high grade disease and death from prostate cancer increased by 21 per cent and 17 per cent respectively with every additional ten centimetres (3.9 inches) of height.

However they did stress that height was not associated with overall prostate cancer risk.
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Higher BMI was also found to be associated with increased risk of high grade tumours, as well as increased risk of death from prostate cancer.

Waist circumference was associated with an 18 per cent greater risk of death from prostate cancer and a 13 per cent greater risk of high grade cancer with every ten centimetres (3.9 inches) increase in waist circumference.

“The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development, for example related to early nutrition and growth,” said Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, the lead author on the study.
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“We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.

“The observed links with obesity may be due to changes in hormone levels in obese men, which in turn may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

“However, the difference in prostate cancer may also be partly due to differences in prostate cancer detection in men with obesity.”
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Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK said: “We know very little about what happens in cells to actually trigger prostate cancer which is why this is a priority research area for us.

“Understanding this is crucial if we are to find ways to predict and prevent the disease in the future.”

He said the findings that certain physical characteristics can increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer were ‘interesting’.
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“It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer. 

“However overall prostate cancer can affect men of all shapes and sizes so it is important that all men, and especially those over 50, Black or with a family history of the disease, continue to be aware of their prostate health and speak to their doctor if they have concerns.”

The study is one of the first to differentiate between high grade and advanced stage tumours.
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Dr Perez-Cornago said the results highlight the importance of studying risks for prostate cancer separately by stage and grade of tumour.

The researchers used data from 141,896 men, collected in eight countries.

Susannah Brown, Senior Scientist at World Cancer Research Fund, said: “This study supports our own research which also found an increased risk of prostate cancer in taller men.
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“The link can be explained by thinking of height as a marker of the growth process that occurs earlier in life.

“While we may not be able to change our height, men can take action to help reduce their risk of advanced prostate cancer by being a healthy weight.

“In fact if every man in the UK maintained a healthy weight, about 1 in 10 cases could be prevented each year.”
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The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.
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