Although promising steps forward have been made in the diagnosis, treatment, and survivability of many common cancers, new research released in the medical journal Cancer says that incidents of obesity-related cancers are on the rise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in America, and nearly 20% of adolescents between the ages of two and 19, are considered obese. Excessive weight — 30 pounds or more over a healthy weight based on height and gender — and sedentary lifestyle are considered risk factors for breast, colorectal, kidney, pancreatic, lower esophageal and uterine cancers. The effect of extra weight on the body’s production of insulin and metabolic hormones may cause changes that lead to the growths of cancers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that:
While the precise link isn’t understood, fat cells can encourage the body to produce more substances such as insulin or hormones that can stimulate tumor growth, scientists say. Obese postmenopausal women may have higher levels of free estrogens and androgens, a risk factor for breast, ovarian and uterine cancers. Adenocarcinoma, in the lower esophagus, develops mostly in people who suffer from chronic stomach-acid reflux, often triggered by excess weight.