As more and more people become overweight, there is a looming question. Can obesity cause cancer? While it is not totally clear to doctors, there is consistent evidence that being obese increases one’s risk of getting several different types of cancers.
It is a growing issue for millions of people. Here are some facts, observations and trends.
Can Obesity Cause Cancer
While maybe not everyone, there is a relationship between obesity and cancer in many people.
While most studies tend to be large and observational, there is growing concerns that high amounts of body fat are indeed associated with an increased risk of contracting a number of different cancers.
Types of Cancers associated with Obesity
Here is a list of some of the medical conditions associated with higher amounts of body fat.
- Colorectal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Gastric cardia cancer
- Esophageal adenocarcinoma
- Kidney cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Possible Trigger Mechanisms
- Inflammation in the body from being overweight can cause DNA damage over time, which can lead to cancer.
- Increased blood levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1, IGF-1.
- Fat tissue, (adipose tissue), produces too much estrogen, and associated with certain types of cancers, such as endometrial, breast and ovarian.
- Fat cells produce ‘adipokines’ such as leptin and adiponectin. These are types of hormones that might stimulate or inhibit cell growth.
- Fat cells can also directly or indirectly effect other cell growth regulators.
A higher body mass index, BMI, comes with an increased risk of colon and rectal cancers in men and women.
There is a growing trend that millions of people eat too much and do not get enough physical activity, leading to an increase of body fat.
The association of high BMI and disease is gaining wide spread acceptance among medical doctors. Excess body fatness increases the risk of certain cancers, as well as other complications.
If you have a concern about being overweight or concerned if obesity cause cancer, see your doctor and discuss these important issues.