MENU Body size and prostate cancer risk Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Europe and the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men worldwide. Body size and prostate cancer risk. A new study led by researchers in the Nuffield Department prostate cancer types and stages Population Health Cancer Epidemiology Unit CEU investigated the associations of height and obesity with prostate cancer by different tumour characteristics and death from prostate cancer and found that taller men and men with more fat are at greater risk of high grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer.
The research was based on data frommen in eight countries from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition EPIC cohort and included a total of 7, prostate cancer cases.
The innovative aspect of this study was its focus on different tumour sub-types. The researchers distinguished between the stage or spread and the histological grade of the cancer. A tumour that has spread outside the prostate is described as advanced stage, whereas one contained within the prostate is defined as localized stage.
The histological grade of the cancer high, intermediate or low refers to how abnormal tumour cells look compared to normal cells. Most previous research in this area has grouped the stage and grade of tumour together in combined categories of aggressive or non-aggressive cancer.
Lead author, Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, said: "The results emphasise the importance of studying risk factors for prostate cancer separately for advanced stage and high grade tumours. There is nothing men can do about their height but at least it is now more evident that they may reduce their risk of aggressive prostate cancer by having a healthy weight.
However, further research is still needed to understand possible mechanisms, such as hormonal alterations, and to establish whether the associations we have seen are causal.