Don’t Wait To Lose Weight

If you’re a guy carrying excess pounds, it’s best to drop those sooner than later, and not just for your looks. Otherwise, prostate or pancreatic cancer could be in your future, say researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Specifically, they discovered men who were overweight between 14 and 19 years of age and/or in their 30s had a 60 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. Meanwhile, those obese in their 20s to 40s were found to have a two to three times higher risk of pancreatic cancer. The risk of developing the disease appeared to level off for those who gained excess weight in their 40s; after age 50, the risk for the disease was not statistically significant.

In an odd twist, researchers also found that overweight men were diagnosed at an earlier age. “This is one of the most surprising findings,” said Donghui Li, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and the study’s corresponding author. “On average, overweight pancreatic cancer patients were diagnosed two to three years earlier, and obese patients were diagnosed five to six years earlier.”

For those who have pancreatic cancer, having a healthy body weight helps — those who do have an average survival time of 18 months, compared to 13 months for both overweight and obese patients.