Obesity May Affect Prostate Cancer Testing

by Joy Keller and Ryan Halvorson on Apr 01, 2008

Making News

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), prostate cancer took the lives of more than 27,000 men last year, and an estimated 220,000 new cases were identified. There is concern, however, that prostate cancer in obese men may go undetected because of inadequate screening processes.

The NIH states that “prostate cancer can be detected before symptoms even appear by screening the blood for unusually high concentrations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).” But results from a recent study published in the November 21, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (2007; 298 [19], 2275–80) raise questions as to the validity of this method.

The retrospective study involved almost 14,000 men who underwent prostate cancer surgery from 1988 to 2006. The authors analyzed the subjects’ medical records and found that obese men had serum PSA concentrations 11%–21% lower than normal-weight men. The authors theorized that higher blood volume, associated with higher body mass index (BMI), might explain the result, since PSA concentrations would be diluted.

The researchers conceded that subsequent testing was necessary to concretely assert that obese men are at greater risk for having undetected prostate cancer; however it’s never too early to educate male clients and participants of the potential dangers of carrying extra weight.

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About the Authors

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.