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Find out about weight and prostate cancer and how to aim for a healthy weight.

Weight and prostate cancer

Staying within the healthy weight range helps you to feel better and stay well.

Researchers are looking into how weight affects prostate cancer including whether being overweight can increase the risk of prostate cancer recurring. There is some research suggesting that men who are overweight or obese might be more likely to die as a result of their prostate cancer. 

It is not known whether men who are overweight at diagnosis will definitely reduce the risk of their prostate cancer coming back by losing weight. 

Men who are overweight or obese should try to lose weight because

  • it can help them to feel better.
  • it can also reduce the risk of heart problems, men who have had prostate cancer are at higher risk of heart problems

You can find out whether your weight is within the healthy range by working out your body mass index, or BMI.  Or you could measure your waist.

If you are underweight and struggling to put on weight, you should ask for specific advice from your doctor or dietitian.

How to aim for a healthy weight

Eating a healthy well balanced diet and being active will help you to work towards, or maintain, a healthy weight.

Coping with cancer and its treatment can be difficult.  It may be hard to think about making changes to your diet or becoming more active. Talk to your nurse, doctor or dietitian if you need help and support. They can help you to set realistic, safe goals that are you are able to achieve.

For some men, a realistic goal may be to lose a certain amount of weight, rather than to achieve their ideal body weight or BMI.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t always lose the weight you want to. Even some weight loss can help improve the way you feel and has health benefits.

Questions you may want to ask your doctor

  • What support is available in my area to help me lose weight?
Last reviewed: 
23 Sep 2016
  • Eating well when you have cancer.
    Dr Clare Shaw. The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook. 2015

  • Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors.
    Rock and others. CA:A Journal for Clinicians. July/August 2012 Vol 62, Issue 4 pages 242-274 

  • Obesity and prostate cancer: making sense out of apparently conflicting data.
    SJ Freeland and others. Epidemiology Review, 2007. 29:88-97

  • Prospective study of adiposity and weight change in relation to prostate cancer incidence and mortality.
    ME Wright and others. Cancer, 2007; 109: 675-684.

Information and help

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