5 Important Facts You Need To Know About Obesity & Cancer

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It’s no secret that obesity, or having a BMI
over 30, carries with it some serious health risks that only increase as a
patient’s weight goes up. Not to mention, more than 30% of Americans are
classified as obese. Obesity is a widespread public health issue that doctors
and health officials have known about for decades. But how bad is it, really?

Not only do we know about the health effects
of obesity as type 2 diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure, obesity is associated with a higher risk of many types of
This fact is not up for debate, as many studies all over
the world have been done on this subject and nearly all have found a
correlation between obesity and cancer risk.

But what is it that obesity has to do with
cancer? In this article, you will learn about proposed mechanisms that may
connect obesity and cancer.

One way that many chronically obese patients
solve their weight problem for good is through bariatric surgery. Learn about life after gastric sleeve surgery!

5 Facts About Obesity-Causing Cancers

The Types of Cancers Caused By Obesity

Obesity is linked to a higher risk of the following cancers: breast, thyroid, gallbladder, prostate, pancreatic, esophageal, kidney, colorectal, uterine, and head & neck cancers. These include some of the most common cancers that affect Americans today such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Obesity Lowers Your Immune System

Obese people have lowered levels of “natural killer cell” activity. Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell that react faster than other cells when the body is faced with a threat such as a virus. These natural killer cells play a role in preventing cancer growth.

Insulin Resistance May Play a Role in Cancer Risk

Insulin is produced by the pancreas. During this process, IGF-1 (insulin growth factor 1) is produced in the liver. IGF-1 and insulin both encourage cell growth, which can be taken advantage of by tumors in order to grow more rapidly.

Obese People Are At Higher Risk For Cancer Metastasis

Cancer cells can spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body where their unregulated growth can eventually become fatal. Obesity is linked to a higher risk of metastatic tumors, and this may be due excess fat causing additional capillaries to be needed to provide blood throughout the body.

Excess Fat Causes Inflammation Which Can Increase Cancer Risk

Obese people tend to experience a low level of
chronic inflammation due to an overabundance of immune cells called adipokines.
Adipokines infiltrate cells in fatty tissue and cause inflammation. It’s not
well known how inflammation may increase cancer risk, but it could be that
these adipokines look similar to structures that can be seen in tumors. This
could allow tumor cells a better chance to survive and grow in the body.

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