Now a new study by the University of Oxford has found that carrying weight around the middle is a serious prostate cancer risk. For men who are overweight every extra four inches on the waist increases the risk of death from prostate cancer by seven per cent. The latest research found that cutting the average male body mass index (BMI) by five points (about 2.5 stone for the average man), would save 1300 lives a year. Further, scientists suggest that a typical man should try to keep their waistline below 36 inches to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
The 36 inch target
Almost seven in 10 men in Britain are overweight or obese with forecasts warning that the UK will have the worst obesity levels in Europe within a decade. Separate research has indicated that one in 41 men in the UK will die of prostate cancer.
Scientists have previously suggested that excess fat around the middle could be a factor for prostate cancer but earlier studies were too small to draw firm conclusions. This new research is the largest of it's kind, including 2.5 million men. It looked at 19 studies, including one from the UK Biobank involving 218,000 men, who were tracked for 12 years.
Fate of stomach fat
Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, the study’s lead author from the University of Oxford, said: “Knowing more about factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer is key to preventing it. The key message is if you are a healthy weight, try to maintain it, and if you are already obese or overweight, try to lose weight.”
The study, which is being published in the journal BMC Medicine and is funded by Cancer Research UK, comes alongside NHS advice urging people to keep waistlines to less than half of their height to stay in good health.
Draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence encouraged everyone to get out a tape measure and tackle stomach fat, in order to cut the risk of a host of health problems.
Consultant Urologist, Mr Andrew Ballaro says, "Around 75% of prostate cancer deaths are recorded in men over the age of 75 but due to improved medical diagnostics and treatments eight out of ten patients will now survive their prostate cancer for longer than five years".
Different forms of prostate treatment based on cell proliferation
In his article, How Aggressive is my Prostate Cancer? Mr Ballaro goes onto explain, "The critical factor with regard to prostate cancer is that these cancers vary considerably between different patients in their level of threat or aggressiveness and this is is mostly down to a factor known as 'Cell Proliferation' or 'Cell Cycle Proliferation (CCP)'. Up until recently it has been difficult for urologists to accurately measure the tumour cell proliferation and this can be problematic. There are a range of treatment options and clearly those more aggressive tumours showing higher rates of cell proliferation require more aggressive treatment".
Expert advice on losing weight
Consultant nutritionist, Stephanie Moore in her article, 5 Myths About Weight Loss provides guidance for anyone seeking to shed the pounds and wishing to avoid the usual traps - especially with regard to 'protein only' and 'diet foods'.
See also - If you are becoming increasingly preoccupied with eating healthy food to the exclusion of any food that does not fit within your list of rules, then you could be suffering from an eating disorder called orthorexia.
An eating disorder characterised by extreme or excessive preoccupation with eating food believed to be healthy.Full medical glossary