The prostate gland is the organ found at the base of the urinary bladder surrounding the first part of urethra, the passage by which the urine is drained from the bladder and exit from the penis. One minor function of the prostate gland is control of urination by directly pressing against the first part of urethra that the prostate surrounds. Its principal function, however, is to secrete certain substances found in normal semen, such as sugar and mineral. The semen is a significant fluid transporting the sperm in assisting with reproduction.
“Obese men have a greater risk of more aggressive, and therefore potentially more fatal disease such as the prostate cancer,” Dr. Martha Terris of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta quips, “the take home piece of advice among men is to try to maintain a healthy weight,” concluded Terris.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of death among men. Obesity greatly increases the risks of developing such cancer especially among young men. Statistics also shown that death from prostate cancer is double among the newly diagnosed.
Prostate cancer begins at the gland, where cancerous tumor consisting of prostate gland cells develops slowly. It remains dormant or confined to the gland for many years. Within this year, the cancerous tumor does not manifest physical symptoms. Nevertheless, aggressive types of the cancer develop and disperse more rapidly, resulting to shorter life expectancy among men. The aggressiveness of the cancer can be measured by Gleason score, calculated by a trained pathologist after carefully observing under the microscope the prostate biopsy specimens.
In some cases, the progress is slow that a man may die of old age not knowing he suffered from prostate cancer until autopsy provided the evidence. Around 80% of all men in their 80s had the cancer when they died, however, they did not know about it, even the physician.
The cancer begins with small changes in the shape and size of the cells of the prostate gland known as the Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasis or PIN. It means that the “dysplastic modifications involving the glands and ducts of the prostate that could be a precursor to adenocarcinoma, mild dysplasis with cell crowding, low grade PIN 1, difference in nuclear size and shape, high grade PIN2 and 3, irregular cell spacing, nucleomegaly and nucleolomegaly, and moderate to severe dysplasia with cell growing.
Researchers believe that 50% of all 50 year old men have PIN. It means the cancer cells have not moved elsewhere but can be seen under a microscope. The problem becomes aggravated in obese men as the excess weight is a deterrent factor in diagnosing the cancer because obesity makes it the digital rectal exams very difficult. The digital rectal exams are the major screening tool in diagnosis.
Obesity due to unhealthy diet is linked to prostate cancer. Consumption of foods high on fats can worsen the risks of the disease. Medical doctors recommended a diet low on meat and high on fruits and vegetable to be preventive. Also, men who have abdominal fat are at higher risks of developing the cancer. Some additional biological factors related to prostate cancer include the leptin, insulin-related growth factors, and other hormones. Men with higher levels of insulin, leptin and IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor 1 are more at risks of developing the disease. A healthy lifestyle such as regular physical exercise, yoga stretching, and meditation is encouraged.