Being obese can cause many ailments, but is cancer, one of them?
Nearly one third of the world’s population is obese or overweight—which correlates with the amount of adults and children in the US that suffer from it. Being overweight can cause many health issues, but did you know that it can also be a cause of cancer?
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the link was made after an extensive review of over 1,000 studies, related to the subject.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer on Research (IARC) in France, conducted the research by using data from both men and women, living throughout the world. It concluded that an excess amount of weight does contribute to specific cancers.
Eight additional types of cancer have been added to that risk, bringing the total count to 13. Those forms of cancer are: breast, colon, esophagus, gallbladder, kidney, liver, meningioma (brain tumor), multiple myeloma (blood), ovary, pancreas, stomach, thyroid and uterus.
“The burden of cancer due to being overweight or obese is more extensive than what has been assumed,” said cancer expert Graham Colditz, chair of the IARC Working Group, in a report. “Many of the newly identified cancers linked to excess weight haven’t been on people’s radar screens as having a weight component.”
The researchers believe that weight gain leads to an increase of hormones such as estrogen, insulin and testosterone, which can increase the development of cancer.
“Lifestyle factors such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising, in addition to not smoking, can have a significant impact on reducing cancer risk,” Colditz shared. “Public health efforts to combat cancer should focus on these things that people have some control over.”
According to professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Elizabeth A. Platz, there is something that women can learn from this as well, “The strongest association they found is with uterine cancer. And postmenopausal breast cancer is also connected to obesity, especially estrogen receptor positive cancer. These are important messages that women need to hear.”
Now that research seems to link weight with one of the most insidious diseases, do you think that you will endeavor to eat healthier and exercise more?