Obesity Linked to Eleven Forms of Cancer

By Rebecca Lewis on March 06, 2017

People who are obese are at a greater risk of dying from several forms of cancer, including the most prevalent ones like breast, ovary, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum and bone marrow cancers, according to new research. 

For the study, researchers at Imperial College London studied results from 204 previously published studies exploring the connection between obesity, weight gain, waist circumference and 36 different cancers. They specifically looked for evidence that the previous results might have exaggerated the link between obesity and cancer or found a connection that was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance. 

They found that every increase in BMI tied is to a higher risk of developing cancers in the oesophagus, bone marrow, biliary tract system, pancreas and kidney. Upticks in BMI were also linked to greater odds of colon and rectal cancers in men as well as endometrial malignancies in younger women. 

The increased risk of cancer for every 5-unit gain in BMI ranged from 9 percent for rectal cancer among men to 56 percent for tumours in the biliary tract system. 

There are 1.9 billion people worldwide who are obese, according to the World Health Organization. Roughly four in 10 adults are overweight, and more than one in 10 are obese, a condition that increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems and joint disorders in addition to certain cancers. 

While more needed that assesses changes in body fat over time to better understand how obesity directly influences the risk of getting cancer or dying from the disease, as the researchers note, it is important to remember that obesity is a major health risk factor and is also associated to many other serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Thus, findings ways to achieve and maintain a normal weight is something that everyone, young or old, should prioritise. 

Source of this article: 

Being Obese Is Strongly Linked To A Greater Risk For These 11 Cancers

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