Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Tell me the size of your waist and I will tell you if you are in risk of prostate cancer


Visceral fat, which is the fat found around our organs, is associated with increased danger of prostate cancer say scientists in today issue of Obesity Research.

For a long time abdominal obesity has been associated with an increase in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancers. But until now, it has not been possible to establish a relationship between prostate cancer and weight, even if evidence supports the idea that environmental factors, such as western diet and life style, affect the incidence of the disease. A clear example of this relationship is the increase in prostate cancer among Japanese men emigrating to the United States from Japan (where the disease is still rare).

Pedro Von Hafe, Henrique Barros and colleagues from the Faculty of Medicine of Porto and the Hospital of São João, Porto, Portugal hypothesised that previous inconclusive results, found when studying the relationship between fat and prostate cancer, were due to the fact that the existence of different types of adipose tissue was never taken into account. And different types of fat tissue, because they possess different types of metabolism that produce different biochemical substances, affect the body in very different ways.

Adipose tissue in the human body comes in two types: subcutaneous fat which is located just below the skin, and visceral fat, which is located, unnoticed, below the muscles surrounding our vital organs and is much more harmful than subcutaneous adiposity. In fact, visceral fat is known, for example, to predispose to cardiovascular and metabolic problems although the mechanism(s) by which these complications appear is still not known.

Von Hafe, Barros and colleagues in order to understand the contribution of different types of adipose tissue to prostate cancer used computerized axial tomography, a technique that employs advanced x-ray technology and allows to distinguish, and individually measure, different types of adipose tissue. The team of scientists compared sixty-three prostate cancer male patients with sixty-three healthy controls from the same sex and ethnical background and with similar age, height and weight. Very interestingly, it was found that higher quantities of visceral fat, but not of subcutaneous fat, were associated with prostate cancer. This result corroborates the researchers ’ hypothesis that different fat have different effects in prostate cancer incidence. The quantity of visceral fat, however, did not correlate with the disease stage, indicating that once established, other factors contribute to the evolution of disease.

The different results found between visceral and subcutaneous fat, probably result from different biochemical substances produced by each of the adipose tissue, which will affect the body in different ways. Furthermore, contributing for the harmful effect of visceral fat is the fact that this type of adiposity tends to be metabolised by the liver into fatty acids and released into the blood what will ultimately lead to an increase of insulin in the blood. And insulin is known to be capable of induce the growth of cancerigenous cells, including cells from prostate tumours.

Von Hafe, Barros and colleagues’ work is important because it alerts to the importance of distinguish between different types of fat when calculating individual obesity levels and their potential risk to health. Furthermore, comprehension of the mechanisms leading to prostate cancer is the first step for disease prevention.

Piece researched and written by: Catarina Amorim (

Catarina Amorim | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>