Weight Management to Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk: A Survey of Men's Needs and Interests

Cancer Clin Oncol. 2016 May;5(1):43-52. doi: 10.5539/cco.v5n1p43.


Obese men have a higher rate of prostate cancer-related death than non-obese men, and obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer progression and biochemical recurrence. The purpose of this study was to assess needs and interests of men for a technology-driven weight loss intervention to reduce prostate cancer risk. We distributed a survey collecting demographic characteristics, health history, exercise and eating habits (and perception of those habits), current and prior attempts of health behavior change, and technology use. Survey answers were summarized by count and percent of total respondents. Completed surveys (N = 109) described men with a family history of prostate cancer (25%), a history of elevated prostate specific antigen (26%), and prostate cancer survivors (22%). We compared body mass index (BMI) to perception of weight; overweight and obese men perceived their weight as more normal than their BMI category suggests. Most men reported their diet needed minor improvement (74%), and 65% of men reported they are either currently trying to lose weight or interested in weight loss. Most respondents access the internet (92%), while text messaging (60%) and smartphone application use (40%) are less frequent, especially in men over 60. Our results revealed a need and willingness for lifestyle modification and suggest a need for evidence-based weight loss strategies and for addressing the misperception of weight status. A male-tailored intervention that implements technology could improve energy balance, hold men accountable to healthy behavior change, and promote dietary patterns in order to reduce prostate cancer risk.

Keywords: awareness; diet; health behavior; men; nutrition; physical activity; prevention; prostate cancer; risk; survey; technology; weight management.