Obesity could affect prostate cancer test results

Credit: University of Adelaide.

University of Adelaide research shows that the results of the most widely used test for prostate cancer may be affected by obesity.

With increasing prevalence of obesity in high-income countries, this study published by the Society for Endocrinology, has important implications for detecting and monitoring the most common form of cancer in men.

Using data from 970 South Australian men from the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study, researchers studied the effects of obesity on PSA levels detected in blood and the influence of the hormones, testosterone and estrogen.

Elevated levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood can be an indicator of prostate cancer and lead to further diagnostic investigations,” says Dr Aref.

“The results of this study have important implications for how we should interpret PSA levels in men who are obese,” says project supervisor Professor Gary Wittert.

“Obesity is a major risk factor in the development of cancer, as well as other diseases. More than 65% of men in Australia are overweight or obese and this level is predicted to increase.