Prostate Cancer Risk: Obesity Weighs Heavy
New York, NY, May 15, 2013 -- Americans may think they've had their fill of advice on healthy eating, diet, and exercise. But evidence on the health risks of obesity continues to mount as two new studies uncover the impact of excess weight on a man's prostate. The first, led by top robotic prostate surgeon, David Samadi, MD, showed men with metabolic syndrome had larger prostates, higher Gleason scores, higher prostate cancer tumor volume, and increased surgical complexity. The second study found obesity to increase a man's risk of prostate cancer by as much as 57 percent.
"The time has come for men to tighten their belts on prostate cancer," said Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery and Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. He further explained the dangers of obesity by saying, "The excess fat that obese men carry around their middles converts testosterone to estrogen, a key component in cell proliferation and prostate cancer."
In Dr. Samadi's study, a nine-year review of more than 2,600 of robot-assisted laparoscopic procedures (RALP), prostate cancer risk factors increased significantly among patients who met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, including obesity and cardiovascular disease.
In a separate study at Columbia University researchers monitored more than 6,000 men for 14 years, concluding that a man's risk of developing all types of prostate cancer, both aggressive and non-aggressive, increases with weight.
"The silver lining for heavier men is that with robotic prostate surgery I can achieve surgical outcomes similar in favorability to non-obese patients," Dr. Samadi added. He is one of few surgeons to perform high-risk robotic prostate surgery for obese men. The Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique (SMART) helps avoid some of the surgical complications that can be associated with open surgery on obese patients. As a minimally invasive procedure, robotic surgery can make recovery a little easier on them, as well.
Dr. Samadi stresses the need for prevention strategies like weight loss and healthy eating. Prostate cancer risk factors include age, obesity, family history, and African American decent. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the obesity rate for American men over age 40 is nearly 40 percent.
"For all men, weight loss isn't a suggestion it's a life-saver. These men face real health hazards; prostate cancer is just one of them," concluded Dr. Samadi.
David B. Samadi, MD
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