Prostate cancer symptoms, prevention

Your Weight and Prostate Cancer—Why Researchers Link Male Obesity To Aggressive Tumors

For several years now, scientists have known about the link between weight and prostate cancer, but until now they didn’t quite know why.  According to research from the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology, Toulouse, France, we may be one step closer to understanding the connection.  While several mechanisms are likely at play in the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer, one of these may involve the adipose tissue that surrounds the prostate gland.

The Fat Connection

Professor Catherine Muller-Staumont of the institute explains one way cancer cells likely spread outside of the prostate to progress to other organs.  This involves the fatty deposit known as, periprostatic adipose tissue (PPAT) that encompasses the gland.  As the disease progresses, cancer cells permeate this layer of fat easily.  Because the size, and number of PPAT cells is larger in obese men, the risk for aggressive prostate cancer is higher.  The cells produce what is known as, chemokines, a kind of bioactive molecule.  These cells have the ability to attract others, including prostate tumor cells. 

CCL7—The Link

Recently, researchers have isolated one particular molecule, chemokine CCL7 that interacts with CCR3, a receptor found on the surface of prostate tumors.   Scientists have now determined that CCL7 attracts tumor cells expressing the CCR3 receptor towards periprostatic adipose tissue.   Because of this, locally advanced tumors can spread to other parts of the body

Scientists came to this conclusion by tracking laboratory mice, fed a diet high in fat.  They not only found that tumors progressed more rapidly in these mice, but also tended to spread outside the area of the prostate.  In human trials, researchers observed the same.  When males with more fat surrounding the prostate, (in the form of adipocyte tissue) were tested, high levels of CCR3 was secreted.  This resulted in an increase of tumor growth outside the prostate capsule, as well as an aggressive type of cancer, more resistant to treatment. 

Because molecules targeting CCR3 have already been investigated for other diseases, researchers hope to develop new therapies that could reduce aggressive prostate tumors in obese individuals.

Widespread Screening and Containment Are Key

According to the National Institute of Cancer, most individuals with prostate cancer contained locally within the prostate capsule can be successfully treated with one or more therapies.  In fact, the rate of survival for men with contained tumors, over a 5-year study period (2001-2007) was 100%.  Many individuals will die from other causes without having ever experienced any significant disability from the disease.  This is likely due in part to screening with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test that alerts physicians to the possibility of existing tumors in patients.

Prostate Function and Health Risks

The small prostate gland, part of the male sex organ is necessary to secrete fluids that protect sperm. Located in front of the rectum, the prostate forces this fluid into the urethra, which is then expelled as seamen at the time of ejaculation.

You may be at risk for prostate cancer if:

Family history-A close male relative such as a father, brother, or uncle has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Diet-You eat processed meat or red meat frequently.

Race-You are African American. You are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer than a Caucasian male.

Age-You are 55 or over.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)You have an enlarged prostate.

Prostate Health Naturally

Natural dietary supplements work to restore and protect the overall health of the prostate gland.  Optimal prostate health and wellness may be possible by supporting the body gently through vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts,


This potent antioxidant protects cellular structures from the damage of free radicals.  It further supports prostate health and skin damage from UV sunlight.


Promotes a healthy prostate through a potent herbal blend of natural extracts.


This garlic extract blend of Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract, Lycopene and Zinc works to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels naturally.

As scientists work to discover further important connections between obesity and prostate cancer, new treatment protocols will be offered.  Regular PSA screenings, as well as a balanced diet and exercise may promote prostate health.

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