Radiation therapy is one of the most common interventions when it comes to combating prostate cancer but as researchers found out, it is less effective among obese and overweight men compared to normal weight men as suggested by a new study. Increased rate of relapse for prostate cancer, death resulting from prostate cancer as well as death from other possible causes was observed for obese and overweight men in the study that involved over 1,400 patients of prostate cancer.

Does radiation therapy really work?

Ideally, the whole issue isn’t really about weight as such, but there is an association with an increase in weight that could be the reason for the less effectiveness of the treatment as noted by the lead researcher in this study. Ideally, the whole issue isn’t that radiation doesn’t really work as such but the truth of the matter is that the procedure doesn’t really seem to be working as such. But even though, opting for it is much better rather than simply not getting any treatment.

Being obese or overweight was linked to a small, about 3%, higher relapse rate of prostate cancer and about 7 percent of the cancer spreading. The heavier patients were found to have an increase rate of about 15 percent from dying of the cancer and a 55 rate greater of dying from other possible causes as noted by the researchers. For the past four decades, there have been more than double cases of obesity among adults in the US as reported by Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though there is a strong link between other types of cancers and obesity, there is no clear association between prostate cancer and obesity as explained by the researchers.

Surgical treatment candidates

Thinner patients are essentially the most ideal candidates for getting surgical treatment unlike obese and overweight men with prostate cancer who are left with only the option of radiation. According to one expert who was involved in the study, there were many theories floated to explain the relatively poorer outcomes associated with obese men who had prostate cancer. A biological mechanism for worse survival outcomes noted among obese men was due to the way that the tumor progresses rapidly to distant metastasis just as the treatment starts to fail. But even though this could together with other factors explain why obese men are at a higher risk, there is need for additional research for the relationship to be fully confirmed.

The study added more evidence to the fact that obesity is associated with a high risk of prostate cancer as well as prostate cancer that is more aggressive. The actual ways in which obesity could contribute to aggressive prostate cancer will be uncovered by additional research and this will help doctors and patients to combat the cancer more successfully.