Bigger men have bigger tumors, study finds

Heavier men have bigger, more aggressive prostate tumors, according to new research from Henry Ford Hospital presented Wednesday.

The findings, presented in San Francisco at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, were based on a six-year study of Detroit-area men. They show that the more a man weighed, the larger his prostate tumor.

They also suggest obese men should at least have an annual digital rectal exam, performed by a doctor wearing a glove, because a blood test is not as accurate in finding prostate cancer in heavier men, said Dr. Nilesh Patil.

Patil, a Ford urologist and senior author of the study, said he could not say weight control would prevent a recurrence of cancer in men already diagnosed with the disease. But he said weight control "always is a good idea" to maintain good health.

The study analyzed weight measurements and tumor sizes in 3,327 men who had robotic prostate cancer surgery at the hospital in Detroit between October 2001 and October 2007.

Guidelines from the American Cancer Society suggest annual prostate exams for men beginning at age 50 but as early as age 40 for men who have a family history of prostate cancer.

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