Huge Obesity Related Cancer Numbers

Obesity and Cancer

Obesity and Cancer

There is a well known link between obesity and increased cancer risk, particularly with breast cancer. New research has highlighted the astonishing figures associated with cancer promoted by obesity.

The study looked at the body mass index of people from 184 countries in 2002 and contrasted it with cancer rates for those people in 2012. The researchers focussed on cancers which are linked to obesity — breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer. They estimate that 3.6 percent of cancer cases were caused by obesity. If you take that percentage and extrapolate it to global cancer statistics, you are looking at as much as half a million cancer cases triggered by obesity, each year.

Women are more likely to get cancer if they are obese, with 5.4 percent of women presenting with cancers caused by obesity. The United States has the highest rate of obesity related cancers, with over 100,000 in 2012. Postmenopausal breast cancers and some uterine cancers are very closely tied to obesity, which explains the higher percentage for women.

Researchers partially understand why obesity causes cancer. Obesity creates various unusual actions within the human body, including an overload of certain hormones. Those hormones can contribute to cancer, particularly breast cancer. One of those hormones is insulin-like growth factor 1, which has been linked to pancreatic cancer.

Doctors recommend a healthy diet and exercise to reduce your risk of getting cancer.

Link Between Cancer and Obesity Examined

Obesity and Cancer

Obesity and Cancer

A new study has reaffirmed the link between obesity and cancer.

The study, published in the Lancet Journal, reaffirms that a high body-mass index of 25 kg/m2 or greater is associated with increased risk of cancer. Researchers believe that in 2012 nearly 500,000 cases of cancer were attributable to high BMI around the world. The vast majority of these obesity related cancers occur in the United States and Europe, because of the higher levels of obesity found in those locations.

Women were more likely to be affected by cancer relating to obesity, particularly breast cancer. The most common forms of cancer caused by obesity were corpus uteri, postmenopausal breast, and colon cancers. These forms accounted for 63ยท6% of cancers and are attributable to high BMI.

The research looked at cancer rates in over 184 countries and found that obesity was associated with 5.4 percent of cancer in women and 1.9 percent in men during 2012. Those percentages are higher in developed countries with excess weight causing 8 percent of cancers in women and 3 percent in men.

The cancer rates were lowest in parts of Africa, due to lower calorie intake.

According to the researchers:

These findings emphasise the need for a global effort to abate the increasing numbers of people with high BMI. Assuming that the association between high BMI and cancer is causal, the continuation of current patterns of population weight gain will lead to continuing increases in the future burden of cancer.

Calorie Intake and Breast Cancer

Weight Gain Breast Cancer

Weight Gain Breast Cancer


A new study in the United States has highlighted the role that calorie intake may play in the development of breast cancer.

Researchers discovered that when radiotherapy was being used to treat breast cancer in women with a specific form of the disease, the treatment was more effective if their calorie intake was lower.

The “triple negative” form of breast cancer is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer and affects about 20% of all women with breast cancer. This form of cancer also tends to be found more often in young women, below 40 years of age.

Women with this form of breast cancer often see it spread very quickly with stubborn tumors returning after treatment.

Researchers aren’t sure why a reduced calorie intake helps prevent the tumors return, but it may be to do with reduced calorie intake changing the tissue surrounding the tumor.

The problem is that many of the treatments which women are given to help them fight cancer promote weight gain. Treatments like hormonal therapy and steroids which are used to slow the growth of tumors can increase weight gain by slowing metabolism, making the tumors more resilient!

We know from other studies that being overweight is actually linked to breast cancer if you have a particular genetic marker. Many other forms of cancer are also linked to being over weight, so there are plenty of reasons to maintain your fitness and weight.

Studies also show that breast cancer treatment is less effective if you are overweight and people who gain a lot of weight during their breast cancer treatment are likely to have worse outcomes.

These studies have made researchers more interested in the role of metabolism in the treatment of cancer. If they can make sure the treatments don’t adversely affect metabolism and induce weight gain in patients, then better outcomes for patients are more likely.

Dr Nicole Simone, the study leader of the most recent research says that from the findings: ‘We found that the diet turned on a programme that protected mice from metastatic disease,’. The study was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, and found that in the dieting mice, cancer cells decreased their production of microRNAs 17 and 20 (miR 17/20).

Those two molecules play an important role in influencing disease pathways. In the triple negative breast cancer patients, this group of MicroRNAs is usually larger.

Researchers used mice in the study and found that the mice who undertook radiation and calorie restriction had the best outcomes.

This latest research is only one of many studies that backup the role of a healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. In 2009 a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) found that:

restricting consumption of glucose, the most common dietary sugar, can extend the life of healthy human-lung cells and speed the death of precancerous human-lung cells, reducing cancer’s spread and growth rate.

Which researchers saw as another indicator that moderating calorie intake helps prevent cancer.

However this is not an argument for unhealthy dieting, but rather an argument for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, exercising and avoiding processed foods.

The excess weight and cancer link is not a new one either. In 1987 studies were suggesting that people watch their weight: “a complete review of the data suggests that reducing caloric intake and relative body weight may lead to a considerable decrease in cancer risk in humans.”