Diana Kelly Levey

The Surprising Link Between Prostate Cancer and Weight

A man going for a jog.

December 30, 2019 | Categories: ,

(Article was originally written in 2012.)

Extra pounds can up your man’s risk of prostate cancer, finds research in the journal BMC Medicine.

In 2012, researchers studied fat from patients undergoing surgery for prostate disease and found that overweight men had different levels of gene activity in the fat surrounding their prostates compared with lean men. These altered genes were shown to foster fat growth and the formation of new blood vessels, which produces a favorable environment for prostate cancer growth. Recent research in 2017 found that there were associations between weight change, BMI and lethal prostate cancer for men who had BMIs over 25 at age 21 than men who had lower BMIs.

It’s often up to the women in relationships to take on the role of the health advocate, according to another study that came out a few years ago. But just like you wouldn’t take too kindly to being confronted about your weight (eek, can you imagine?), tread lightly with your partner. “Guys can be really sensitive, and this type of subject has to be dealt with gingerly,” says psychologist Karen Sherman. (FYI, women should get these cancer screenings.)

How to Talk to Your Partner About His Health to Reduce His Prostate Cancer Risk

Accentuate the positive. Broach health topics by focusing on his positive behaviors—not what he’s doing wrong, Sherman recommends. Wait for a time when he’s eating healthy or working out, and then tell him how much you like seeing him taking care of himself. Experts suggest you’ll have better results and face less resistance if you avoid complaints and accusations.

Approach him from the side. Women tend to prefer face-to-face conversations, says Ian Kerner, PhD, a relationship counselor and bestselling author of She Comes First. But men often find this type of interaction confrontational and prefer a side-by-side chats instead. “Unless you want your words to send him into battle mode, talk with him while you’re taking a walk or driving together,” Kerner advises.

Read the full article on Prevention.

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