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Excessive Weight Also Known As Obesity

By Dr. Devavrat Arya in Medical Oncology , Cancer Care / Oncology , Musculoskeletal Oncology , Breast Cancer

Dec 21 , 2021 | 1 min read

Excessive weight also known as “obesity” is emerging as one of the most important preventable cause of cancer worldwide. Research shows that it may be responsible from anywhere between 3 to 15% of all cancers globally. It is strongly believed that the increasing number of cancers diagnosed in India specially in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai may also be linked to increase in obesity rates.

While the link between obesity and cancer is only seen in adults and not children, being obese during childhood increases the risk of obesity in adulthood.

Which cancers are related to obesity?

Studies have shown a clear link between obesity and cancers of Breast, colon, uterus, kidney, liver, stomach, gall bladder, ovary, thyroid and some brain tumors.

How does obesity increase the risk of cancer?

Fat cells in the body are dynamic structures. Excessive fat can lead to production of extra hormone such as estrogens and growth factors which in turn can promote extra division of cells leading to the possibility of development of cancer. Research shows that there is a link between the duration of obesity ( how long) and degree of obesity( how much) and risk of cancer. In addition the pattern of obesity may also impact risk of cancer. Fat around the belly is the most notorious and is likely to heighten the risk of cancer the most.

What should you do to reduce your risk ?

Lose weight ! Eat roughly at the same time of the day, watch the calories that you consume daily, snack healthy, take small portions, avoid sugary drinks and eat stuff high on fibres. Physical activity also helps in weight loss- aim to walk 10000 steps in a day