Prostate cancer is one of the commonest cancers among men and if diagnosed during the early stages, can be treated very successfully. Like other cancers, obesity increases the risks of aggressive prostate diseases. Recent studies by researchers show that fat surrounding the prostate of overweight or obese men with prostate cancer provides a favorable environment for the growth of the cancer.
The fat is mostly an underrated organ. It is not just an energy store but it secretes wide range of growth factors, cytokines and hormones, including leptin and adiponectin, and it is a major player in the immune system, which protects the body from infection and disease. But too much fat in the body can cause these systems to go haywire and can increase risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
AdvertisementIn a study, researchers found that regardless of the type of the prostate disease, overweight men had various levels of gene activity in the fat surrounding their prostates, compared to lean men. This also includes genes that encode proteins involved in immunity, inflammation, cell growth, proliferation, fat metabolism and programmed cell death.
Experts say that in an increasingly obese population, it is important to understand how fat, and specifically the fat surrounding the prostate can influence the growth and severity of prostate cancer and may provide an opportunity for implementing personalized lifestyle as well as therapeutic strategies.