Obesity and prostate cancer: A narrative review

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2022 Jan:169:103543. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2021.103543. Epub 2021 Nov 20.


Overweight and obese men with prostate cancer are at an increased risk of disease recurrence, exacerbated treatment-related adverse effects, development of obesity-related comorbidities, earlier progression and development of metastatic disease, and higher all-cause and prostate cancer-specific mortality. The physiological mechanisms associating obesity with poor prostate cancer outcomes remain largely unknown; however, an increased inflammatory environment and metabolic irregularities associated with excess fat mass are commonly postulated. Although research is limited, fat loss strategies using exercise and nutrition programmes may slow down prostate cancer progression and improve a patient's prognosis. This review is an overview of: 1) the association between obesity and poor prostate cancer prognosis; 2) potential physiological mechanisms linking obesity and prostate cancer progression; 3) the effect of obesity on treatments for prostate cancer; and 4) the potential for weight loss strategies to improve outcomes in patients with prostate cancer.

Keywords: Exercise; Fat loss; Nutrition; Obesity; Prostate cancer; Weight management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / therapy