Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obese more likely to develop Cancer

Here's yet another reason why you should cut the flab -obesity could give you cancer. A new research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, has found that overweight people are at a significantly higher risk of developing a range of common cancers. In fact, according to researchers, an individual's risk of contracting at least seven types of cancer rises with every pound of weight put on - however, those who lose weight can reduce their chance of developing the disease.

"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 oesophagus.

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,"Ed Yong of Cancer Research United Kingdom was quoted by the Sunday Telegraph as saying.

The researchers have based their findings on an analysis of data from around the world on obesity, weight gain and weight loss in relation to cancers of the breast, kidney, pancreas, colon, prostate, oesophagus and endometrium, which is actually the lining of the womb.

The study, carried out at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US, found clear links between cancer rates and increases in body mass index (BMI), the measurement of obesity which is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilogrammes by their height in metres.

And, the cancer which emerged as having the clearest link to weight gain was breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The risk of catching the disease increased by 5% with every 5kg of weight gained. Weight gain in adulthood accounts for almost a quarter of cases of the disease in older women. On the contrary, the study found that those who lost weight were at a significantly lower risk of the disease.

Research into colon cancer found that men who put on 6kg or more in weight ran twice the risk of getting the disease as men who lost two kilogrammes or more. Those who gained 21kg or more after reaching the age of 20 had a 60% increased risk compared to men who have gained less than five kilogrammes, the researchers found in their study.
Courtesy: Press Trust of India, Sept. 8, 2008
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