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

In a second report, a team led by Corinne E. Joshu, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that men who gained weight after having their prostate removed were almost twice as likely to see their cancer return as were men who maintained their weight.

"Weight gain may increase the risk of prostate cancer recurrence after prostatectomy," Joshu said during the AACR news conference. "Obesity, especially among inactive men, may also contribute to the risk of prostate cancer recurrence," she said.

For the study, Joshu's team collected data on more than 1,300 men with localized prostate cancer who underwent prostatectomy between 1993 and 2006. In addition, the men completed a survey on diet, lifestyle and other factors such as weight, height and physical activity five years before surgery and again one year after the procedure.

By the end of the study in 2008, 102 men saw their prostate cancer return. These men were older, more likely to have more aggressive tumors and less likely to have a family history of prostate cancer, compared with men whose cancer did not return, the researchers found.

Furthermore, men who had gained at least five pounds before surgery or up to one year after surgery had almost a two-fold greater chance of seeing their cancer return than did men who did not gain weight, Joshu said.

Five years before undergoing a prostatectomy, 54 percent of the men were overweight and nine percent were obese. Among men who gained weight in the year after surgery, the average weight gain was about 10 pounds. Becoming obese after surgery increased the risk for a recurrence of prostate cancer 1.7-fold, the researchers said.

"By avoiding obesity and weight gain," Joshu said, "men with prostate cancer may be able to both prevent recurrence but also improve their overall well-being."

In another report presented Monday
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