When a person is overweight or obese, their body contains more fat compared with other tissue and raises the risk of developing various types of cancer, as well as risk for cancer returning back after treatment.
If you’re dealing with obesity and are worried about how it affects cancer, you need to understand what doctors and researchers mean by cancer risk. Cancer does not strike everyone who is overweight or obese. Knowing your risk of cancer can help you make better choices.
While further research is still ongoing on the connection between cancer rsk and body weight, the findings so far point to a variety of reasons why weight may affect cancer risk.
Some of them are:
- Increased weight raises insulin levels and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and high amount of this hormone helps in the development of various cancers.
- Fat tissue develops more of the hormone estrogen which can help breast cancer develop.
- Obese people are more likely to have chronic, low-grade inflammation (even more so if they have more belly fat) and that is linked to higher cancer risk.
- Fat cells affects the body’s ability to regulate growth of cancer cell
Other changes in your weight during your lifetime that also affect the risk of cancer. According to Studies the following factors may raise your risk:
- Weighing more than average at birth
- Gaining weight in adulthood
- Losing and Gaining weight and losing it back over and over
Cancer risk is reduced by eating a well-balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. If you are a cancer survivor, or looking for cancer treatment it doesn’t change the fact that making these healthy choices can lower the risk of cancer coming back (recurrence).
Various cancers linked to being obese or overweight are breast, uterine, prostate, pancreatic, gallbladder, colorectal, thyroid, head and neck, and oesophageal cancer.
Best way to improve health is eating well and staying active are the best ways to improve health, even more so if you are overweight or obese. Losing even 5 to 10% of total body weight can lower the risk of developing cancer.
It may seem like a small amount, but research has shown it improves your health. Even if losing weight is difficult, eating a balanced diet and regular exercise helps lower your cancer risk.