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Weight Gain, Smoking May Make Prostate Cancer Deadlier
Date:4/20/2010

Men who put on pounds after prostatectomy nearly double odds of recurrence, one study finds,,

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Men treated for prostate cancer who smoke or put on excess pounds raise their odds of disease recurrence and of dying from the illness, two new studies show.

The findings were presented Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

In the first report, a team led by Dr. Jing Ma, an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that obesity and smoking may not be risk factors for developing prostate cancer, but they do increase the odds that a man who has the illness will die from it.

Being heavy and smoking "predispose men to a significantly high risk of cancer-specific and all-cause mortality," Ma said during a Tuesday morning news conference.

"Compared to lean non-smokers, obese smokers had the highest risk of prostate cancer mortality," she said.

For the study, Ma's team collected data on more than 2,700 men with prostate cancer who took part in the Physicians Health Study. Over 27 years of follow-up, 882 of the men died, 11 percent from the cancer.

The researchers found that both weight gain and smoking boosted the risk for dying from the cancer. In fact, every five-point increase in body mass index (BMI) increased the risk for dying from prostate cancer by 52 percent. BMI is a measurement of height versus weight, with the threshold of overweight set at a BMI of 25 and the threshold for obesity set at a BMI of 30.

In addition, men who smoked increased their risk for dying from the cancer by 55 percent, compared with men who never smoked, the study found.

"These data underscore the need for implementing effective preventive strategies for weight control and reducing tobacco use in both healthy men as well as prostate cancer patients," Ma said.


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