Excess body weight increases the risk of cancer

Everyone knows that excess body weight is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is less known, however, and cause for even greater concern, that excess body weight also increases the risk of cancer.  A recent report sheds light on the link between excess body weight and cancer. 

Supporting data: report results show the correlation between excess bodyweight and cancer

Excess body weight can, thus, be added to the list of possible causes of cancer. Four million deaths each year are caused by excess body weight, asserts the report, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, that was drawn up by epidemiologists from the Imperial College London and the prestigious Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. The study examined a massive amount of data, both on a global and regional scale, regarding excess body weight and cancer and discovered that being overweight is responsible for almost 4% of cancers diagnosed each year.  The report also noted that in 2016 nearly 40% of adults and 18% of children between the ages of 5-19 had excess body weight, equivalent to almost 2 million adults and 340 children across the world.  According to researchers, in 2012 excess body weight was the cause of 544,300 cases of cancer, or rather, 3.9% of all cancers worldwide. Some variances are accounted for by different geographic areas, less than 1% in low-income countries while 7-8% in high-income Western countries as well as in Middle Eastern and Northern African countries. There are no differences based on gender. Both men and women are equally susceptible to cancer linked to obesity. 

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Keep body weight under control to prevent cancer

The study revealed that excess body weight and obesity can be linked to the following 13 types of cancer:

  • Breast cancer (in women past menopause)
  • Colon and rectum cancer
  • Corpus uteri
  • esophagus cancer (adenocarcinoma)
  • gallbladder cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • liver cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • pancreatic cancer 
  • stomach cancer
  • thyroid cancer
  • meningioma cancer
  • multiple myeloma

Given that excess body weight and obesity are becoming increasingly more common today, these conditions will surely have a greater impact on cancer rates in the near future. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, should not be underestimated in the prevention of cancer.

© Domedica s.r.l.

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