Overweight and Obesity Linked with 13 Different Types of Cancer

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It isn’t news that being overweight or obese are bad for your health. Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, and venous stasis disease have all been associated with excess weight for years. But, the link between obesity and overweight and cancer has been less publicized. Until now.

Dr. Graham Colditz, a chronic disease epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine, and colleagues found links between excess weight and an increased risk of 5 different forms of cancer. Now, they have added another 8 forms of cancer to their list.

Included on their list is:

  • Colon
  • Esophageal
  • Kidney
  • Breast
  • Uterine
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Gall bladder
  • Pancreas
  • Ovary
  • Meningioma (a type of brain cancer)
  • Thyroid
  • Multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer)

The findings come from an in depth review of over 1,000 studies of excess weight and cancer risk analyzed by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A significant burden is placed on the global population by linking excess weight with several types of cancers. In 2014, 39% of adults worldwide were overweight and 13% obese. The burden of this link is made heavier when you consider that there are also 41 million children in the world aged 5 and younger who are overweight or obese. For many of these cancers, higher BMI was associated with higher cancer risk. The reasons for this are not entirely clear at this time, but the primary reason is thought to be that excess fat leads to an overproduction of hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, and insulin, as well as contributing to inflammation, all of which can increase risk of cancer.

Two positive aspects of this link are that this risk can easily be identified based on BMI, and the risk can be mitigated with weight loss or at least weight maintenance. This gives healthcare professionals a way to educate their overweight patients in a nonjudgmental way. Having a BMI over 25 (overweight) or 30 (obese) carries an extra motivation to reduce body excess body weight. Focusing on efforts to reduce weight, including eating a healthy diet and incorporating physical activity in your lifestyle, can have a significant health impact.

For those who have tried and failed to lose weight through diet and exercise, bariatric surgery may be an option. Conventional diet and exercise regimes are usually only effective for 5% of the population. Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery have been shown to be the most effective option for patients suffering from obesity and related comorbidities.

For individuals with obesity who have tried to lose weight unsuccessfully, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery may be the tool you need to lose weight and get healthy. Weight loss, improved eating habits, and regular physical activity are key factors in reducing the likelihood of suffering from diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, and gallbladder disease, as well as numerous forms of cancer.

To learn more about which type of bariatric surgery is right for you, please call Dr. Shillingford’s office today at (561) 483-8840 to set up an informational meeting. Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., is a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and obesity surgery. His patients come from all over Florida, as well as New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Hawaii for his exceptional services and low cost bariatric surgery. Dr. Shillingford holds weekly informational sessions in his Boca Raton, Florida office for potential patients to meet him and learn more about their surgical options.

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