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Weight gain may influence risk of prostate cancer

Category: Prostate

Substantial weight gain during the years of young adulthood may affect a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, a new study suggests.

Results of a study published in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention indicate that among about 84,000 middle-aged and older men analyzed, participants who had gained a significant amount of weight after turning 21 are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

The results, however, vary depending on the man's race.

The research, found that white men who gained more than 10 pounds in young adulthood have twice the risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. In black men, the deviation occurs in those who have gained over 25 pounds. In Japanese men, on the other hand, weight gain during these years actually reduced the risk of developing the disease.

Elizabeth A. Platz, associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health explained, "Different racial and ethnic populations tend to have differing proportions" and distributions of fat.

Platz attested that the value of these results lies in the revelation that fat distribution, as well as amount, may be a factor in "prostate cancer risk overall, and by stage and grade."

According to data compiled by the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. Doctors have recommended prostate cancer testing in all men over 50, regardless of weight history.

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