Cancer Cases Linked to Weight in US

Being obese is one of the risk factors for 13 different types of cancer, as per the findings of a new report. The cancers include oesophagus, colon, uterus, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, thyroid, and brain account for 40 percent of the diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S., as per the report.

The report was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on 3rd October. The researchers could derive that around 630,000 people in the country suffered from cancer of any of the 13 types which was due to being obese or overweight. These cases made up for 55 percent of the all cancer cases diagnosed in women, and about 24 percent for the ones diagnosed in men.


Many people may find this link between cancer and weight to be a new update, according to the researchers. Though the researchers could show the relationship between higher body-mass index (BMI) to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, they were not able to explain the cause and effect relationship between different cancers and higher body-mass index.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, deputy director of CDC, mentioned in a press conference that, awareness regarding obesity excess weight being a cancer trigger is not very widespread currently.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer was able to find sufficient evidence for proving the link between 13 different cancers and excess body fat, as per the report. Having excess weight will increase the chances of having cancer by causing inflammation or swelling in the body, as the report says. Certain hormones like sex hormones and insulin may be secreted in excess amounts due to obesity. These factors are responsible for causing the cancer risk.

The researchers made use of the governmental data of 2014 to formulate the report along with additional data from the 2005 to 2014 for studying changes in the occurrence of cancer rates. One the limitations of this study would be that it did not contain much information regarding the patients’ BMIs or body weights.

The cancers caused by weight were found in younger people. They could only tab 1.4 percent of cases in cancers caused due to obesity or overweight in people ranging in the age group of 20 years to 49 years, as compared to about 0.4 percent cases of cancer in people of the age group 50 years to 64 years. Almost half of the people who were before 65 years had cancer because of excess weight, as the researchers said.

The people who are obese are twice more likely to have cancers in the kidney, liver, stomach, and oesophagus, compared to the people having normal weight. Obese people have 30 percent more chances of developing colorectal cancer, as per the report. Obese women are 2 to 4 times susceptible to developing endometrial cancers, stated by scientists.

The researchers are putting more importance in promoting healthy weight in the population.

The author of the report wrote that promoting cancer-controlling strategies along with interventions based on evidence will be quite helpful in decreasing the chances of cancer in the country.

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