According to a research conducted at Washington University School of Medicine, USA, obesity and cancer are closely associated. In other words, overweight people are in the ‘high risk’ range of most of the common cancers. So, obese people need to do some serious thinking in terms of cutting the flab!
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, analyzed data about three chief aspects - obesity, weight loss and weight gain. The data, collected from across the globe was studied in connection with the most common cancers, i.e cancers of breast, kidney, pancreas, colon, prostate,oesophagus and endometrial. A close relationship was found between increase in the body mass index (BMI) and the rate of cancer.
Chances are that obese people can be in the clutches of any one of the above-mentioned seven common cancers, as a result of each extra pound that they gain. However, at the same time, these chances can be reduced if they can shed some weight.
Of all the cancers, the one with the strongest link with weight gain is - breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women. The risk of the cancer increased by 5% with every 5 kg weight gained. Similarly, an examination of colon cancer brought to light the fact that men who gain around 6 kg had double the chances being detected of this cancer, in comparison to those who lost about 2 kg or more. Generally speaking, after reaching 20 years of age, men who put on 21 kg or more had a 60% increased risk of getting cancer as against those who had gained less than 5 kg.
Against the same parameter of 20 years, a BMI increase of 1 leads to a 14% increased risk of osophageal cancer, whereas a BMI increase of 8 or more increased the risk three times. For BMI increase of 5, risk of pancreatic cancer increased by 14%, that of kidney cancer increased by 31%, the risk of endometrial cancer increased by 52%.
In the expert opinion of Ed Yong of Cancer Research United Kingdom, “People associate high body weight with conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and a lot of people are not aware of the links between body weight and cancer. If you look at these cancers, they include two of the most common, breast and colon, and some of which have very low survival rates, pancreatic and osophagus. So body weight has a substantial impact on cancers that are common and those that are difficult to treat. This is a very important issue. Maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the most important things you can do to prevent cancer after not smoking.”
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