A top oncologist shares his concern regarding obesity and cancer,
Being overweight leads to a lot of health conditions, some that have long-term repercussions on the body function. The chances of a stroke, hypertension, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels and various heart illnesses increase if one has an abnormal body weight.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a health condition wherein the person has a fairly abnormal amount of body fat. To find out whether a person is obese or not, doctors calculate the person’s BMI by measuring his/her height against the weight. In most cases, obesity makes one more vulnerable to a numerous other diseases.
Obesity and Cancer
Fat tissues in obese people produce estrogen. High levels of this hormone are known to cause breast cancer, endometrial cancer and some other cancers. Since there are a lot of fat tissues in people who are obese, it increases their risk towards these cancers. Adipokines is a hormone that is produced by the fat cells in the body. This hormone is known to alter the cell growth. Leptin is a hormone that leads to proliferation of cell growth while adiponectin inhibits cell growth.
According to a renowned oncologist, an abnormal cell growth rate increases the risks of developing a tumor. People who are obese have high levels of insulin in their blood which often leads to an increased risk of developing malignant tumors. Obesity leads to low–level inflammation which in turn is a cancer risk. Obese women are at a greater risk of contracting endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is the cancer of the lining that is inside the uterus. It has nothing to do with menopausal status of women.
In men, however, obesity increases the risk of colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Obesity is also known to increase the risk of kidney cancer. Though the exact reason is unknown, it may be due to the high blood pressure and/or high insulin levels in the blood.
Risk to other cancers also increase.
- Breast cancer (mostly after menopause in women)
- Kidney cancer
- Colon and rectum
- Endometrium cancer
So, the next question is – Does losing weight reduce cancer risk?
There have been numerous researches to assess the relation between obesity and cancer. Researchers have established that people who don’t gain excess weight have lower chances of breast cancer development, endometrial cancer and colon cancer. Though not considerably, weight loss has also resulted in reduced risks of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Rightly put by an experienced Oncologist in India,
While excess weight gain is linked to a number of diseases, it is better to monitor your weight and avoid risk to other diseases.
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