By On February 20th, 2008

Obesity doubles the risk of developing several kinds of cancers

A recent large study published in the February 16th issue of The Lancet confirms the long time association between body-fat and cancer. The study found that obesity doubled a person’s chances of developing several kinds of cancers. Additionally, the researchers found that obesity may also play a role in some rare forms of cancer. The study has made a strong connection between obesity and colon, pancreas, breast, endometrium, and rectal cancer, as well as a particular kind of esophageal cancer. The main message that can be derived from this study, which the American Institute for Cancer Research has laid out in ten points, is exercise, eat your vegetables and leafy greens, and attempt to stay at a healthy weight. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medical New Today that reviews the findings of the study:

Experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) welcomed new results from a British study that links excess body fat to several cancers.

“This new analysis falls closely in line with the conclusions of AICR’s comprehensive expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective,” said AICR Nutritionist Sarah Wally, RD. “The expert panel who wrote that report reviewed hundreds of studies and determined that staying lean may be the most important thing we can do to protect against cancer. Today’s results bear that conclusion out.”

The new study appears in the February 16 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet. Researchers found that obesity doubled the risk for several common cancers, and that excess body fat may play a role in some rare cancers as well.

Last November, the AICR expert panel concluded that carrying excess body fat is now convincingly linked to cancers of the colon, rectum, pancreas, kidney, endometrium, breast (post-menopausal) and a specific kind of esophageal cancer as well.

The metabolically active nature of body fat is thought to be a main reason for the cancer link. Fat cells constantly pump a variety of proteins and hormones into the bloodstream. Over time, these substances can raise risk for cancer.

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