Obesity and Cancers

Cancer & ObesityDid you know that many cancers today are linked to obesity? With the rise in obesity over the past two decades, along with reduced physical activity and diets high in carbohydrates, a review of more than a thousand studies has found solid evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk for at least 13 types of cancer. The review was conducted by a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization. The studies show that there is a strong link between the way obesity affects the body and how certain cancers are able to grow. This means that many of these cancers may be preventable or have their growth limited with sustained reduction in weight.

When it comes to reducing your risk of cancer, maintaining a healthy weight may be as important as avoiding tobacco and overexposure from the sun.

Obesity is associated with significant metabolic and hormonal abnormalities, and with a low-grade chronic inflammatory state. These are factors that may help explain its link to cancer. And obesity can interfere with the effective delivery of some cancer therapies including surgery.

Being overweight or obese is clearly linked with an increased risk of cancers of the:

  • Breast (in women past menopause)
  • Colon and rectum
  • Endometrium (lining of the uterus)
  • Esophagus
  • Kidney
  • Pancreas

Some people may have inborn high vulnerability to specific cancers due to their family history. In the majority of cases, such susceptibility only leads to cancer when driven by external factors.

There remains significant research to be done on the link between obesity and cancer. In the meantime, achieving significant and sustained weight loss may be a very effective way to reduce the risk of getting not only cancer but other obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Having encouragement and a team of supporters while you are on your weight loss journey often makes the difference between winning and losing in the battle of the bulge.

Make your future a healthier one for the long run – learn more about the support and programs available at SmartShape Weight Loss Centres.