Being obese in your teens or 20s increases your risk of dying from prostate cancer by a third, according to a study.
Carrying excess weight among 17- to 29-year-olds significantly increases the risk of serious illness and death, according to a large study.
Obesity leads to high levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone involved in cell growth and development, which scientists believe triggers the disease.
Although men cannot change risk factors such as age and family history, this suggests that maintaining a healthy weight is something men can control to reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer.
Being overweight in the 17- to 29-year-old age group significantly increases the risk of developing and dying from the disease, according to a large study.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with around 52,000 cases per year, and the second most common cause of cancer death, with around 12,000 deaths per year. It kills about 32,000 men in the US each year, and another 225,000 are diagnosed.
Although many prostate cancers are slow-growing and do not harm a person’s lifetime, others are more aggressive, spread quickly from the prostate, and are more difficult to treat.
Scientists wanted to investigate whether obesity is dangerous for different types of the disease.
Researchers analyzed data on 258,477 men aged 17 to 60 in Sweden whose weight was measured at least three times between 1963 and 2019.
During that time, 23,348 participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 4,790 men were aged 70 on average at the time of diagnosis, according to the findings presented in Obesity in Europe.
They found that weight gain was greatest among the study group earlier in life, with an average of 1.6lb per year between the ages of 17 and 29, 0.75lb between the ages of 30 and 44 and 0.5lb between the ages of 45 and 60.
Men who gained 1.1 pounds a year were 10 and 29 percent more likely to develop and die from prostate cancer, respectively, than those who maintained a healthy weight.
Further analysis showed that this is due to weight gain in young adulthood, 2.2lb per year between 17 and 29 – a total of 21lbs – with a 13 per cent increased risk of serious illness and a 27 per cent increased risk of death. .
Dr Marisa da Silva, from Lund University in Sweden, said the findings suggest that preventing weight gain at a young age can reduce the risk of serious and deadly prostate cancer.
Knowing more about the causes of prostate cancer is key to preventing it.
‘Since well-established single risk factors such as increasing age, family history of the disease and several genetic markers are not modifiable, it is important to identify modifiable risk factors.’
She added: “Previous research has shown that elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone involved in cell growth and development, can increase the risk of prostate cancer.”
Levels of this hormone are elevated in obese people and weight gain can exacerbate this elevation and the development of cancer.
We don’t know if the main driver of the association we see is weight gain or longevity.
However, in order to gain weight, a person must gain weight, so it is very important to prevent serious weight gain in young men to prevent prostate cancer.
Simon Grieveson, assistant director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “A number of studies suggest there may be a link between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer. die of disease.
‘While these results are intriguing, more research is needed to fully understand the biological link between obesity and prostate cancer – and more importantly, how we can use this information to improve outcomes for men.’
What is prostate cancer?
How many people does it kill?
More than 11,800 men – or one person every 45 minutes – die from the disease in Britain every year, while around 11,400 women die from breast cancer.
It means prostate cancer is second only to lung and bowel in terms of the number of deaths in Britain.
In the US, the disease kills 26,000 men every year.
However, less than half of the research funding for breast cancer receives and treatments for the disease are at least a decade away.
How many men are recognized each year?
More than 52,300 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK each year – more than 140 every day.
How fast does it grow?
Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so a man may not have any symptoms for many years, he said NHS.
If the cancer is at an early stage and does not cause symptoms, a policy of ‘watchful waiting’ or ‘active surveillance’ may be adopted.
Some patients can be cured if the disease is treated in the early stages.
But if diagnosed later, when it has spread, then it is terminal and treatment focuses on relieving symptoms.
Thousands of men are put off seeking testing because of known treatment side effects, including erectile dysfunction.
Examinations and treatment
Prostate cancer tests are highly overrated, and accurate tools are just beginning to appear.
There is no national prostate screening program because the tests have been so inaccurate for years.
Doctors struggle to distinguish between aggressive and less serious tumors, which makes it difficult to decide on treatment.
Men over the age of 50 are eligible for a ‘PSA’ blood test which gives doctors a rough idea of whether a patient is at risk.
But it is not reliable. Patients who test positive are often given a biopsy, which is foolproof.
Scientists aren’t sure what causes prostate cancer, but age, obesity and physical inactivity are known risks.
Anyone with any concerns can contact Prostate Cancer UK specialist nurses on 0800 074 8383 or visit prostatecanceruk.org