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Obesity and Insulin Linked to Prostate Cancer

Men who are overweight and who have high insulin levels when they are diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to die from the disease, according to a study to be published in The Lancet Oncology.

It is well established that androgens, male hormones, play a critical role in spurring prostate cancer.

In fact, these cancers are often treated with approaches that deprive the tumors of testosterone.

This recent study concludes that obesity has a very important influence on prostate cancer outcome.  The question is, "Why"?

Dr. Pollak, the primary author, looked 2,500 men who had been followed for 24 years as part of the study. Overweight men (those with a BMI of 25 to 29) had a 47 percent higher risk of dying from prostate cancer, while obese men (BMI of 30 or over) were more than two-and-a-half times more likely to die of the disease, compared with men of healthy weight (BMI under 25).

Men with the highest C-peptide (insulin hormone) concentrations also had more than double the risk of dying from their cancer compared with men with the lowest levels.  Finally, men who had a BMI of more than 25 and high C-peptide concentrations had quadruple the risk of dying from their cancer compared with men who had lower BMIs and lower C-peptide levels.

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