Tuesday, 19 August 2014



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
  • gallbladder
  • kidney
  • cervix
  • thyroid
  • 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."

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