Two of the most common health issues facing men today are obesity and prostate cancer. Men having both obesity and prostate cancer, often sets the stage not only for them having a greater risk of a more aggressive form of the disease but also with a poorer outcome.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Dr. David Samadi, Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York and author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Health and Wellness, wants men to know that carrying excess body weight is one of the strongest risk factors for this commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. And with the American Cancer Society estimating that almost 250,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and close to 35,000 men will die from it in 2021, that’s a lot of men who could possibly avoid this deadly disease.
“The percentage of adults either overweight to obese has taken a steady surge upwards over the years,” said Dr. Samadi, “The CDC says about 74 percent of all adults in the United States are overweight which includes almost 43 percent who are obese. For men, it’s almost 3 in 4 men who are considered to be overweight or have obesity. If we want to slow the rate of prostate cancer, reaching a healthier body weight can help.”
Obesity’s effect on prostate cancer
Numerous studies have shown including a 2015 study, obesity’s effect on prostate cancer patients having a greater than the twofold association of prostate cancer recurrence when men were obese or had a high body mass index (BMI). A more recent 2017 study found men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer showed a positive association between long-term weight gain and risk of lethal prostate cancer, attributed to metabolic changes associated with weight gain possibly promoting prostate cancer progression.
“What’s telling is that obesity appears to influence not just prostate cancer, but also other prostate diseases such as prostatitis and BPH, common prostate-related issues many men will experience throughout their lifetime,” said Dr. Samadi.
“For men who are already obese at the time of their prostate cancer diagnosis, there’s an association of a higher risk of recurrence, a higher risk of developing metastatic disease, and a higher risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality,” Dr. Samadi added. “That’s why I aim to discuss with all of my patients that while it’s not possible to change your genetics, reaching a healthier body weight is possible with some motivation and practicing self-discipline.”
For Dr. Samadi, his focus on helping men reach their best healthy weight is to remind men to exercise regularly, choose healthy foods 80-90% of the time, and make sure they’re getting enough sleep. “Even if a man who follows this way of living does receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, he will be in a better position of surviving it,” explained Dr. Samadi.
Other tips Dr. Samadi recommends for good prostate health and body weight include:
- Drink green tea and plenty of water. Green tea may reduce the risk of prostate cancer and may slow aggressive prostate cancer growth rate. Adequate water maintains hydration making the urine less concentrated and creates a feeling of fullness.
- Follow a prostate-friendly diet. “Men are what they eat,” says Dr. Samadi. “I advise choosing more spinach, broccoli, fatty fish, whole grains, and nuts, more of a Mediterranean way of eating for prostate health.”
- Get some sun. “I tell men don’t hide from the sun, it’s our best source of vitamin D which helps protect against prostate cancer by regulating the growth of tumor cells,” advised Dr. Samadi. “Also consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D3 and ask your doctor what amount they recommend.”
“Last but not least, get screened for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Samadi. “Prostate cancer screening will be a man’s best bet for catching and treating prostate cancer early. I advise a baseline screening at age 40 and then, depending on a man’s family history of the disease or if they are African American, will determine the frequency of these screenings.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about Dr. David Samadi’s book, Prostate Cancer, or any Men’s Health topics for interviews or other media appearances can contact him here: