The effect of body mass index on PSA levels and the development, screening and treatment of prostate cancer.Nat Clin Pract Urol 2007; 4(11):605-14NC
The prevalence of both obesity and prostate cancer are increasing in the US. Recently, there has been keen interest in the relationship between obesity and the biology of cancers, including prostate cancer. This article reviews the current literature regarding body mass index (BMI) and its relationship with various clinical aspects of prostate cancer, including its incidence, screening, diagnosis and treatment. Despite several biological mechanisms that potentially link obesity to prostate cancer, the effects of obesity on serum PSA levels and prostate volume, and the subsequent effects on the detection of prostate cancer, are not consistent according to the available literature. Additionally, the epidemiologic data for the incidence of prostate cancer in obese and non-obese populations are conflicting. Treatment of prostate cancer in obese populations is problematic, but data on the ability to overcome these difficulties are unclear. It is difficult to determine whether oncologic and functional outcomes in obese patients differ substantially from those in non-obese patients. Separating the contributions of technical issues from potentially different tumor biologies is not currently possible. Hopefully, the increasing focus on these two highly prevalent health problems might further elucidate their complex relationship.