Obesity increases prostate cancer in men?

22 April 2021

Obesity increases risk of cancer, which includes breast, colon, liver, uterus, kidney and rarely gallbladder. Research published in BioMed Central,which is an open access, online, peer-reviewed journal showed prostate cancer was promoted by gene regulation in obese men.

A study by Prof Fruhbeck and colleagues published in BioMed Central reveals that the fat surrounding the prostate of overweight or obese men with prostate cancer provides a favourable environment to promote growth of prostate cancer. They found that the genetic activity of the fat surrounding the prostate gland was different in obese men and lean men.

We do know that one of the treatments for prostate cancer is to get rid of testosterone activity,as testosterone promotes prostate cancer. Getting rid of testosterone activity is done either by surgically removing testicles or through drugs which block secretion of testosterone.

Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer but worsens prostate cancer if already present.In morbidly obese men, testosterone function may not be as good as it should be. Obese men have problems with erection, some of which is psychological and due to performance anxiety.The two main physiological reasons for erectile dysfunction and low testosterone are..

1.Some chemicals from fat cells prevent conversion to an active form of testosterone i.e 5 Hydro Testosterone(5HT).

2. Scrotum is buried between the thighs and tummy in morbidly obese men. This prevents the scrotum from being 2 degree centigrade less than the body temperature. Scrotum normally lies outside the body so that the testicles can function better when it is two degree centigrade less than body temperature.

It is interesting to note that though morbidly obese men can have low concentration of active testosterone and erectile dysfunction Ribeiro and team have reported that their research has shown Obesity and excess adiposity modified the expression of periprostatic fat tissue genes to promote adipose tissue growth and thereby promote prostate cancer. These findings have to be correlated to real life experience by urologists and Bariatric physicians.

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