Obese men, unwitting victims of aggressive cancersAugust 8th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 8 (IANS) Testing for elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen may be biased against obese men whose PSA levels tend to be deceptively low. This bias may be creating more aggressive cancers in this population by delaying diagnosis, according to a new study led by Duke Prostate Centre and Durham Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center investigators.
“We know that obese men tend to have lower PSA values than their normal-weight counterparts, possibly caused by larger blood volumes which dilute the readings,” said Stephen Freedland, urologist at Duke and the Durham VA and lead investigator on this study.
“Now we know some of the real implications of this — that these men are at a disadvantage in terms of prognosis compared to normal-weight men.”
“We used patient data to examine the association between body mass index, or BMI — a measure of obesity, and the amount of disease discovered after surgery to remove the prostate, ” Freedland said.
“We compared men who had their cancers detected by PSA screening to those who had an abnormal digital rectal exam, which may not confer the same bias against obese men.”
The researchers looked at a total of nearly 3,400 men in the years since 2000, when PSA screening became the gold standard test for prostate cancer.
Obese patients whose cancer was diagnosed by PSA testing had more than twice the risk of cancer recurrence after surgery than their normal-weight counterparts, Freedland said. “In contrast, obese men with abnormal digital rectal exams had similar outcomes as normal-weight men,” Freedland said.
Another Duke study provides further substantiation of the concern that obese men have poorer prognoses than normal-weight men. This suggests that prostate cancer surgery is technically more challenging in obese men, making complete tumour removal harder, according to Jayakrishnan Jayachandran of Duke and lead investigator on the second study.
These findings were published online in BJU International.
- Change in PSA level poor predictor of prostate cancer - Feb 25, 2011
- New test accurately detects aggressive prostate cancer - Apr 07, 2011
- Statins 'may prevent re-growth of prostate cancer' - Jun 28, 2010
- Heart disease may be linked to prostate cancer - Feb 09, 2012
- Prostate test 'can predict death risk' - Jul 09, 2010
- 20-year-long study finds prostate cancer screening doesn't cut death risk - Apr 01, 2011
- New method detects aggressive prostate cancer - Aug 09, 2012
- PSA test more reliable in men taking prostate-shrinking drug - Dec 18, 2010
- Dogs can 'sniff out' prostate cancer accurately from urine sample - Feb 08, 2011
- Avoiding or controlling diabetes may cut cancer risk, mortality - Apr 04, 2011
- Eight cancer signs identified - Aug 28, 2010
- Now, test to predict aggressiveness of prostate cancer - Apr 20, 2010
- Leaner diabetics have higher death rate - Aug 08, 2012
- Early warning signs for prostate cancer identified - Nov 07, 2010
- Men with long ring finger 'three times more likely to get prostate cancer' - Jul 21, 2010
Tags: blood volumes, body mass index, cancer recurrence, center investigators, digital rectal exam, digital rectal exams, duke study, freedland, jayachandran, obese men, prognoses, prostate cancer, prostate cancer surgery, prostate centre, prostate specific antigen, psa levels, psa values, tumour removal, unwitting victims, weight men