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Weight and prostate cancer

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

About weight and prostate cancer

There is some evidence to suggest that staying within the healthy weight range helps you to feel better and stay well.

Some research has suggested that men who are overweight or obese are more likely to die as a result of their prostate cancer. Men who are overweight may have more aggressive disease and have a higher risk of recurrence.

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. Research is looking into this.

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. Go to Am I a healthy weight?

If you are underweight and struggling to put on weight, you should ask for specific advice from your doctor or dietitian. Find out about tips for Putting on Weight.

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.

We have some general information about How to keep a healthy weight which can also be useful for people with cancer.

Find out about Being active.


Eating well when you have cancer. Dr Clare Shaw. The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook. 2015

Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. Rock et al (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. Freeland SJ (and others) Epidemiology Review 2007. 29:88-97

Prospective study of adiposity and weight change in relation to prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Wright ME, Chang SC, Schatzkin A (and others). Cancer. 2007; 109: 675-684

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Updated: 14 July 2016