New Review Links Obesity to 11 Types of Cancer
Worldwide, close to 2 billion adults are overweight, representing 40% of the adult population. 10% of the population suffers from obesity. This condition had already been linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes, or joint disorders, but the latest news is devastating.
The news relies on a study conducted by Dr. Maria Kyrgiou, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Gynaecological Oncology within the Surgery & Cancer Department of the Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine, and Gynaecologic Oncologist within the West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, of the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust.
The study shows that, besides the above disorders, obese people are predisposed to developing no less than 11 types of cancer, affecting the breasts, ovaries, pancreas, kidneys, colon, rectum, and bone marrow.
The news should not come as a surprise, considering that cancer has become a major death cause worldwide, during a period when the number of obese people has doubled. Considering that excess weight puts additional pressure on a person’s body, affecting the functioning of several organs and systems, it is no wonder the odds of developing malignant tumors increases as well.
According to Dr. Maria Kyrgiou’s review, the evidence supporting the connection between obesity and 11 types of cancer is really strong. Further evidence suggests that obese people could be predisposed to even more types. How did they reach this conclusion?
The review covered the results of 204 studies referring to the connection between weight gain, obesity, waist circumference, and 36 types of cancer. The team behind the review started from the premise that the respective studies had exaggerated the link between obesity and cancer, or the link they found could be due to chance.
However, they concluded the opposite, finding strong evidence that obesity can lead to malignant digestive and hormone-related tumors. Their research revealed that BMI (body mass index) increases can lead to higher risk of developing bone marrow, esophagus, biliary tract system, kidney, and pancreas cancer. High BMI values also suggested greater odds of developing rectal and colon cancer in men and higher endometrial cancer risks in younger women.
According to the review, evidence suggests every additional 5 units gained in men’s BMI increase the risk of developing cancer considerably, from 9% for rectal cancer to 56% for biliary tract tumors.In women, increases of the waist-to-hip circumference ratio caused an increased risk of cancer, ranging from 11% risk of breast cancer for every 5 pounds of weight gained to 21% risk of endometrial cancer for every 0.1 additional waist-to-hip ratio unit.
Researchers also concluded that weight gain can lead to colorectal cancer, and BMI increases lead to increased risk of a gallbladder, stomach, bone marrow, and ovaries cancer. The review neglected the studies and experiments aiming to prove that obesity is a direct cause of cancer.
It concluded that further research should assess body fat changes over time, to allow a better understanding of how obesity increases the risk of developing and dying from cancer, and how it impacts the risk of developing cancer in various parts of the body.
Take-Home Message: Every Pound You Gain Gets You One Step Closer to a Cruel and Painful Death
If your weight is still within the healthy limits, you will do yourself tremendous good by keeping it that way. If you are already overweight, your focus should be to avoid gaining, even more, weight. From here on, every pound you lose is a foundation stone for a healthier and longer, cancer-free life.
CDC considers BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9 as healthy, 25 and 29.9 as overweight, 30 and 39.9 as obese, and 40 and higher as morbidly obese. Don’t wait! Calculate your BMI now, and find out where you stand! Your health is in your hands.