Obesity Linked To Cancer
Many of you may have seen in USA Today and other major media articles discussing the association of obesity and cancer. The American Cancer Society and some recent scientific studies have confirmed that a high number of cancers in the United States are caused by obesity. The American Institute for Cancer Research released an analysis of cancer data and offers some striking and discouraging news about the dangers of gaining weight and becoming obese. For example, 33,000 cases per year of breast cancer are due to obesity. Another 20,000 endometrial (uterine) cancers are due to obesity. And many other types of cancer including colorectal cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer and esophageal cancer are caused by obesity in many cases.
There are likely several reasons why the cancer risk rises so strikingly with obesity. To begin with, our cellular metabolism changes and is influenced strongly by the different hormones and biochemistry associated with obesity. For example, insulin levels rise dramatically as do leptin levels with certain phases of eating, digestion and weight gain. These hormones exert powerful influences on the growth regulation of individual cells that is intimately linked with the development of cancer. Scientists have not yet unlocked precise ways to intervene and block this cancer growth and development, but research continues. In addition, increasing studies demonstrate a reduction in cancer risk with weight loss, primarily coming from weight loss surgery.