There have been studies concerning the link of excess weight to prostate cancer. The research has indicated that obese men with prostate cancer are more likely to have aggressive tumors and experience the recurrence of cancer after surgery in comparison with men of normal weight or those who are overweight but not obese.
Abdominal obesity has been associated with the increase in heart-related conditions and some types of cancers and now the relationship between prostate cancer and weight has been established.
Much more research is needed, however, these results indicate that men may be able to modify their risk of aggressive prostate cancer by keeping a healthier diet and lowering their weight.
Obesity rates in the adult population are similar among African-American and Caucasian men, studies have found that obese patients in the groups were more likely to be African American. This may help to answer the question why African-American men with prostate cancer have tumors that are more aggressive and worse outcomes compared to Caucasians.
Obesity is a manifestation of energy imbalance, reflecting excessive caloric intake relative to physical activity. Studies show that the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer demonstrates the influence of energy imbalance on prostate carcinogens.
Different types of fat tissues, due to the variety of metabolism features that produce different biochemical substances, affect the body in different ways.
Adipose tissue in the human body comes in two types: subcutaneous fat which is located just below the skin, and visceral fat, which is located, unnoticed, below the muscles surrounding vital organs.
It was found that higher quantities of visceral fat, but not of subcutaneous fat, were associated with prostate cancer. The quantity of visceral fat, however, did not correlate with the disease stage, indicating that once established, other factors contribute to the evolution of disease.
Researchers note that visceral fat tends to be metabolized by the liver into fatty acids and released into the blood, ultimately leading to an increase of insulin.
Insulin is known to be capable of inducing the growth of carcinogenic cells, including cells from prostate tumors.