A recent study states that obesity can lead to different cancers. Most people do not consider obesity as a benign condition. However, obese or even overweight is linked with 13 different types of cancer.
Obesity increases the risk of many uterine and esophageal cancers by 2 folds. It increases the risk of tumors in gall bladder, kidneys, pancreas, upper stomach and brain membranes by 50 to 80%.
Similarly, obesity also increases the chances of multiple myeloma and cancers of thyroid, breast, and ovary.
The chances of cancer increase with increases in body mass index. For instance, women with extreme obesity have 7 times more chance of uterine cancer.
Obesity also decreases the efficiency of treatment in case of breast and prostate cancers. It also makes cancer fatal in case of complications.
It takes almost a decade dor cancer to develop.
In American society, almost 80% of adults and 30% of children are overweight or obese. Therefore, the future holds a huge risk of an increase in cancer incidence in the American population.
The increased incidence of cancer in America in the last 20 years
A recent study presented an analysis of the increased cancer incidence over the last 20 years among young adults. The study results are published in The Lancet Public Health journal.
In the study, Hyuna Sung (from the American Cancer Society) with her colleagues analyzed the trends of 30 common cancers. Among these, 12 cancers develop commonly in overweight individuals.
Out of these 12, multiple myeloma, gallbladder, kidney, colorectal, pancreatic, and uterine cancers are important. These 6 cancers are rapidly rising among young Americans with age between 25 to 49 years.
The fastest increase (from 2 to 6%) was found in individuals with age from 25 to 35 years. Dr. Sung commented that this increase is huge, very fast and significant.
Hung explained that obesity in young age and adulthood pose a significant risk of increased incidence of cancers in the future. However, this particular study does not show causality.
Anyhow, Investigators are now looking forward to factors due to which obesity directly leads to cancer.
The proposed reason behind cancer development due to obesity
Researchers have found that excess body fat helps in tumor growth. Stephan Hursting, professor of nutrition at UNC, said that obesity changes the entire hormonal milieu dramatically.
The first change involves an increase in the level of growth factors including insulin, as well as the factors involved in angiogenesis.
The second mechanism involves the promotion of inflammation. The third variation is the suppression of immunity factors that fight against developing cancer.
Some other changes due to obesity that lead to cancer are the changes in the microbiome, gene expression, and metabolism.
All these facts have presented an alarming situation to reduce obesity to the maximum level.
In the case of extreme obesity, one solution comes through bariatric surgeries. A cohort study included 88,625 obese women. The women who underwent the surgery found to have 50% reduced risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
Anyhow, researchers are analyzing ways to reduce excess body fat through diet and exercise without complications. The purpose is to prevent cancer that occurs due to obesity.