The Obesity / Cancer Connection

The Obesity Cancer ConnectionObesity is one of the leading causes of preventative disease in the United States. It is a primary risk factor in numerous chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. With more than two-thirds of the adult population in the US being overweight or obese, these health concerns are becoming common knowledge. Many people are growing acutely aware of the fact that living with obesity comes with a series of medical concerns, but even so, many overlook some of the most serious health hazards that obesity may pose.  Among the many reasons as to why you may turn to medical weight loss in Fayetteville, the desire to remain healthy and prevent diseases like cancer should be of the utmost priority.

One of the most recent studies on the connection between obesity and cancer found that obesity increases an individual’s risk of developing cancer. Looking at nationally collected data based on newly diagnosed cases of cancer in 2007, the researchers found that approximately 34,000 men and 50,500 women developed the disease as a result of their obesity. The most common forms of cancer obesity was associated with were endometrial cancer and esophageal adenocarcinoma, in which as many as 40% of newly diagnosed cases were linked to obesity as a primary cause of the illness.

In addition, obesity has been linked to an increased risk for the following forms of cancer:  

  • Pancreas
  • Colon and rectal
  • Breast
  • Kidney
  • Thyroid
  • Gallbladder

What Causes the Link?

Every form of cancer is different, with its own particular risk factors, causes, and nuances. There is a lot of ongoing research as to why being obese will increase your likelihood of developing cancer. Some links are easier to understand than are others. For example, many people who are overweight or obese struggle with chronic heartburn and acid reflux as a result of their diet and exercise habits, as well as the excess pressure that being obese puts on the stomach and esophageal sphincter. Having chronic heartburn and acid reflux disease puts you at risk of developing esophageal cancer. Similarly, colon and rectal cancer is associated with obesity as a result of poor dietary habits.

The World Health Organization estimates that over the next 20 years, the rate of cancer in the United States is going to rise by more than 50%. With obesity a larger issue than ever before, it is no wonder as to why researchers are concerned about the connection between the two diseases. Focusing on following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking care of your overall health and wellbeing are essential if you hope to prevent cancer.