Obesity is known as the second leading cause of cancer after smoking. There are about one-fifth of the cancer deaths recorded in the United States linked with obesity. However, how is fat stimulating the development of tumors?
How may obesity increase the risk of cancer? Many probable mechanisms have been proposed to expound how obesity may intensify the risks of some types of cancers.
Overweight people habitually have chronic low-level inflammation, which contributes to damage of DNA that leads to cancer. Obese individuals are more prone to acquiring illnesses and disorders associated with chronic local inflammation than individuals having a healthy weight. Chronic local inflammation is known to be a risk factor for the particular type of cancers.
For instance, chronic local inflammation brought by gastroesophageal reflux disease which is also known as Barrett’s esophagus is often due to esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Obesity is known as a risk factor for gallstones which is an illness categorized by chronic gallbladder inflammation, and some history of gallstones is a robust risk factor for gallbladder cancer.
Chronic ulcerative colitis, also a chronic inflammatory illness, and hepatitis, an illness associated with an inflammation of the liver are risk factors for diverse types of liver cancer.
Fat tissue or adipose tissue generates extra amounts of estrogen, high levels of which linked to higher risks of breast, ovarian, endometrial, and other types of cancers.
Overweight people often have amplified blood levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1. This specific condition is specified as hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance, leads the development of Diabetes Type 2. Increased levels of IGF-1 and insulin might stimulate the growth of colon, prostate, kidney and endometrial cancers.
Does losing weight or preventing weight gain lessen the risk of cancer?
With the ongoing studies of obesity and cancer risk, these studies are a bit hard to interpret because folks who prevent gaining weight or trying to lose weight may vary in other means from individuals who do not.
However, when the suggestion from multiple observational studies is unfailing, the association is more expected to be genuine. Several observational studies give reliable evidence that individuals who have minor weight gain in adulthood have lesser risks of colon cancer, kidney cancer, and breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers for premenopausal women.
There are a few studies that identify the possible connections between losing weight and cancer risk. They were able to recognize that is lesser risks of breast, endometrial, colon, and prostate cancers to those individuals who were working out to lose weight. However, these studies fail to assess whether the weight loss was planned or unplanned which possibly connects to underlying health problems.
What’s the level of risk of developing cancer to overweight or obese people?
It doesn’t mean that if you are an overweight person, you are going to develop cancer. It’s just that with obesity, there is a substantial risk of getting cancer than those people who have a healthy weight.
Excess fat in the body does not just stay there, it’s typically active, transporting signals to the other parts of the body.
These signs can command the cells in our body to divide more regularly, which can then lead to the development of cancer.
Hence, as much as possible maintain your weight on an average level. Be physically active, and eat nutritious meals and snacks.
Is the case the same in children?
No. The connection between obesity and cancer is merely in adulthood. However, healthy body weight is vital for children too. Never take their weight for granted.
There is approximately one in five children who become obese before they start going to primary school. Obesity can start early in children, thus do not allow your children to consume junk foods or sugary drinks to avoid gaining much weight.