Cancer-Obesity link unveiled

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No surprises here! Obesity has been linked to yet another deadly disease- Cancer.

Major studies confirm that being overweight or obese increases your risk of various cancers.The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that overweight and obesity are the most important known avoidable causes of cancer after tobacco.

Obesity spurs changes in the gut microbiome that can lead to the production of DNA-damaging metabolites. And according to new research published today in Nature, circulation of these metabolites through the gut and liver initiate inflammatory and tumor-promoting factors that make mice more susceptible to liver cancer.

“This is a fascinating set of findings,” said Peter Turnbaugh, a systems biologist at Harvard University, who did not participate in the research. “This study shows that changes to the trillions of microbes that are found in the gut in response to obesity can contribute to the formation of damaging microbial metabolites.”

Increase in risk of getting breast cancer:

Women in their 50s who are overweight run twice the risk of getting breast cancer, scientists warned.
Obesity is the biggest known reason for post-menopausal women to have boosted levels of oestrogen and testosterone.

Scientists have estimated that anywhere between 7% and 15% of breast cancer cases in developed countries are caused by obesity.

Over a hundred studies show that women who are overweight or obese and have been through the menopause have higher breast cancer risks.

Risks of developing other types of cancer are high too:

Studies have consistently found that people who are overweight or obese are also more likely to develop pancreatic, kidney, and gallbladder cancers.

Studies have estimated that having a high body weight accounts for nearly a quarter of kidney and gallbladder cancers.

Scientists measure belly fat using either waist circumference (the length of tape that goes around your waist) or waist-to-hip ratio (how wide your waist is compared to your hips). Studies have found that people with larger waists or waist-to-hip ratios have higher risks of breast cancer, bowel cancer, kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

Studies have shown that overweight and obese people are more likely to develop cancer than people with a healthy body weight. It therefore makes sense that losing weight can help to reduce the risk of cancer, and scientists are now trying to confirm this with large studies.

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