It’s a known fact that being overweight isn’t good for your overall health, but how much is it potentially affecting your long-term wellness and risk for serious disease?
It turns out that obesity raises your chances of certain types of cancer, as shown by a recent study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative. The 12-year study monitored women’s body mass index (BMI), physical activity, diet, smoking, hormone use, and cancer and diabetes history. During the study of 73,913 women in the United States, 6,301 cases of obesity-related cancers were diagnosed. The study also showed that for every 10 years the women were overweight during adulthood, risk of obesity-related cancer went up by 7%. Risk of postmenopausal breast cancer rose by 5% and endometrial cancer by 17%.
These findings make sense to researchers because of the links between obesity and cancer. These links include a risk of hypertension, insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, DNA damage, and changes in hormone metabolism. Additionally, excess fat tissue can cause a growth in tumors due to overproduction of some blood and tissue. While the study was conducted on women, the risks have been shown in men as well.
The good news about this study is that it has also shown that it’s relatively simple to lower some of the risk factors of obesity that are linked to cancer. Researchers have shown that even a small amount of weight loss (5-10% of starting weight) considerably lowered the blood levels of certain hormones and chemicals in the body that were related to the increase in risks of cancer.
It is never too late to start a healthier lifestyle and lose the weight, in turn lowering your risk for cancer. GI Associates can help you on this path. Make your appointment today!