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Tuesday, 19 August 2014
BEING OVERWEIGHT LINKED TO CANCER
Being overweight and obese puts
people at greater risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers.
Scientists warn if obesity levels continue to rise there may be an additional 3,700
cancers diagnosed annually.
Doctors often warn being overweight can increase the
risk of developing cancer, but a new study highlights those forms of the disease
where the risk is greatest. They found each 13-16kg (2-2.5 stone) of extra weight an average adult gained
was linked firmly and linearly to a greater risk of six cancers.
How big this risk was varied depending on tumour type.
Cancer of the uterus had the highest increased risk
leukaemia had the lowest rise in risk.
People who had a high body mass index (calculated using weight and height)
were also more likely to develop cancer of the liver, colon, ovaries, and
post-menopausal breast cancer. But the effects for these cancers were less clear-cut and were influenced by
individual factors such as the menopause. Dr Krishnan Bhaskaran, who led the research, said: "There was a lot of
variation in the effect of BMI on different cancers. For example, risk of cancer of the uterus increased substantially at higher
body mass index, for other cancer we saw no
effect at all. This variation tells us BMI must affect cancer risk through a number of
different processes, depending on cancer type"
Tom Stansfeld, at Cancer Research UK, said: "It is clear carrying excess weight
increases your risk of developing cancer. Keeping a healthy weight reduces cancer risk and the best way to do this is
through eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly."