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Is Obesity Linked To Cancer? Explains Gastroenterologist

Overweight/obesity is when a person has an abnormal amount and body fat distribution. Overweight or obese people are at an increased risk of death from any cause. Obesity increases the risk of colorectal cancer, kidney (renal cell), endometrial, thyroid, and pancreatic cancer. According to new research, overweight people have a 22% greater mortality risk than healthy weight, and obese people have up to double the cancer risk. If you are overweight or obese, Dr Kona Lakshmi Kumari, Consultant Surgical Gastroenterologist, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, shares that the best strategies to improve your health are to eat healthier and exercise more.

Can Obesity Increase Cancer Risk?

How fat may increase the risk of certain malignancies?

  1. Fat tissue (also known as adipose tissue) creates an excess of oestrogen, which is linked to an increased risk of breast, endometrial, ovarian, and other cancers.
  2. Obese people frequently have elevated insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels in their blood (IGF-1).
  3. Obese people are likelier to have chronic inflammatory disorders like gallstones or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. These circumstances can generate oxidative stress, which damages DNA and raises the risk of the biliary tract and other cancers.
  4. Fat cells release hormones called adipokines that can encourage or inhibit cell development.

Prevention Tips

  1. Recent studies of cancer risk in people who have lost weight provide more evidence for the link between obesity and cancer and that losing weight may be an effective cancer preventive strategy. Most of these studies compare obese persons who have had bariatric surgery for weight loss to obese controls who have not. Bariatric surgery results in considerable weight loss for most individuals, who see, on average, a loss of roughly 20% in the first two years.
  2. Exercise combined with a balanced diet is more practical for reducing weight than calorie restriction alone. In addition, some diseases can be prevented or even reversed via training.
  3. Furthermore, exercise reduces your risk of developing specific cancers such as colon and breast cancer. Exercise has also been shown to boost confidence and well-being, potentially lowering rates of anxiety and sadness. Finally, exercise is beneficial for both weight loss and weight maintenance. Exercise can boost your metabolism or the number of calories you burn daily. It can also help you maintain and develop lean body mass, which enables you to burn more calories daily.

The Bottom Line

Obesity impairs practically every area of health, from reducing life and contributing to chronic illnesses interfering with respiration, mood, and social relationships. Obesity is not always a lifelong problem. Food, exercise, drugs and even surgery can lead to weight loss. But losing weight is far more complicated than gaining it. Obesity prevention, beginning at a young age and continuing throughout life, can dramatically enhance individual and public health, minimise suffering, and save billions of dollars in healthcare costs annually.

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