There is a review of the medical literature that defines the associating mechanisms between the weight of the patient and the probability of suffering from prostate cancer.
Obesity is recognized as one of the factors influencing the appearance and aggressiveness of prostate cancer. By treating obesity as a cancer risk factor, giving it the importance and relevance it really has for people’s health, we will reduce the number of new cases of prostate cancer and improve the evolution of patients who have already contracted the disease.
Dr. Francisco Martínez Peñalver – Neolife Medical Team
Lung cancer is added to the list of tumors related to diet and weight.
Every day brings more scientific evidence about the relationship between what we eat and the risk of suffering from certain diseases such as cancer. Recently, lung cancer (in all its histological variants) has been added to the list of tumors related to diet and weight, and the knowledge of how these factors influence the appearance of prostate cancer and its poor prognosis in spite of treatment has been strengthened.
According to a recent review of clinical studies, lung cancer represents up to 16% more risk in patients with a diet containing an excess of saturated fats compared to those patients who follow a low fat diet, such as the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet (a diet for patients with high blood pressure). By substituting 5% of the calories that these patients ingest, a reduction of this risk has already been achieved.
With respect to prostate cancer, its association is more with theweight of the patient than with the diet that is consumed. There is a review – dated April 2017 – of the medical literature existing up to that point, that defines the associating mechanisms between the weight of the patient and the probability of suffering from prostate cancer. In the case of obesity it turns out that several events occur that combine to put to the patient in a situation that favors the development of prostate cancer.
Firstly, obesity produces a deregulation of the Insulin/IGF-1 hormone axis. The increase in visceral fat mass is associated with high concentrations of insulin, and this stimulates the production of IGF-1, which is a protein that stimulates cell proliferation. In addition, the excess of insulin is inversely related to the concentration of sex hormones in the blood, which is a known risk factor for the appearance of the type of prostate cancer that is most resistant to treatments, undifferentiated carcinoma. Here we should pause for a moment to stress that it’s curious that the idea remains that testosterone produces prostate cancer, when there is greater evidence that low levels of testosterone are associated with the appearance of those prostate tumors with a worse prognosis.
Researchers point to the increased risk of developing prostate cancer when the abdominal perimeter exceeds a maximum diameter of 102 cm. The greater the abdominal perimeter, the higher the Gleason score, which measures the aggressiveness of prostate cancer.
Another mechanism that appears in obesity and that promotes the tumoral degeneration of prostate cells is that of adipokines. These are proteins produced by the adipocyte, the fat cell, that generate inflammation, and therefore increase oxidative stress at the cellular level. Oxidative stress is one of the situations in which tumor cells feel most comfortable, and aids the mutation of healthy cells’ DNA. In addition, these adipokines favor the migration of prostate cancer cells outside of the gland, i.e. they favor the appearance of metastasis.
Lastly, obesity not only contributes to the appearance of prostate cancer, but also conceals it and causes it to be diagnosed at later stages. Apart from the obvious, a greater difficulty in performing the physical exploration due to the excess of visceral fat, obese patients have more liquid in their body and they hemodilute proteins such as PSA, essential in the screening for an early diagnosis. In addition, as we said at the beginning, the excess of visceral fat decreases the concentration of sex hormones and that also decreases the concentration of PSA.
Obesity is recognized as one of the factors influencing the appearance and aggressiveness of prostate cancer. By treating obesity as a carcinogenic risk factor, and by giving it the importance and relevance that it really has for people’s health, we’ll be able to reduce the number of cases of prostate cancer and improve the prognosis of patients who have already contracted the disease.
At Neolife, within the goals that we establish for our patients, we include the prevention of oncological diseases. To do so we base the changes to be made in the patient’s life on a few core principles that include a healthy and personalized diet; clear, specific and personalized recommendations about the exercise that each patient needs to carry out; a balance of oxidative, metabolic and hormonal stress; and a longitudinal control of the pertinent biomarkers.
(1) Yang et al. Obesity and other cancers. J Am Soc Clin Oncol 2016;34:4231-4237
(2) Nuñez et al. Obesity, physical activity and cancer risks: Cancer, Lifestyle and Evaluation of Risk Study (CLEAR). Cancer Epdiemiol 2017;47:56-63
(3) Divella R et al. Obesity and Cancer: the role of adipose tissue and adipo-citokines-induced chronic inflammation. J Cancer 2016;7:2346-2359