Obesity and The Risk of Cancer
According to Medical News Today, 1 in 2 people will develop cancer at some point in their life. While different cancers each have unique outlooks for treatment and recovery, most cancers can be life-threatening. It is important to mitigate risk of cancer, and one of the ways that can be done is through maintaining a healthy weight.
Researchers have now found that there is a link between cancer and obesity. Read on to learn more about how obesity can affect your likelihood of getting cancer, and how the Weight Loss and Wellness Center can help you along your personal weight loss journey.
Is Obesity a Risk Factor for Cancer?
According to the National Cancer Institute, a number of studies have been able to correlate a risk of cancer with higher body fat. However, the majority of these studies are observational; because of this, it can be hard to prove as to why those with obesity are more prone to cancer. However, some cancers – such as gallbladder cancer and esophageal cancer – have been found to occur far more likely in those who struggle from obesity.
Why Does Obesity Increase Your Risk of Getting Cancer?
Researchers have recently made a breakthrough discovery related to the link between higher body fat content and cancer. According to a study from the LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Medicine and the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, the answer may lie in the effects of inflammation.
Obese individuals are more prone to inflammation. The LSU team’s theory is that inflammation in obese people leads to a higher instance of something called Myeloid-derived suppressor cells, or MDSCs. These cells can be immunosuppressive, meaning they prevent the body from fighting off illnesses. The increased presence of MDSCs could be the reason that obese people are more susceptible to cancer; these cells may also lead to resistance to cancer treatments.
The Link Between Obesity and Breast Cancer
One of the cancers that has been linked to obesity is breast cancer. According to Cancer.org, this risk is especially increased following menopause. The increased fat on the body leads to higher production of hormones that have been correlated with breast cancer, such as estrogen and insulin. Being overweight has also been shown to increase the recurrence of breast cancer, meaning those who are diagnosed and beat the disease have a higher chance of the cancer returning.
Regardless of your weight, all women should make sure to perform regular breast examinations to ensure that any changes in the breast are evaluated by a medical professional as quickly as possible. See how to do a breast examination here.
How Can You Minimize Your Risk?
If you struggle with obesity, losing weight has many benefits beyond reducing your risk of cancer. Weight loss can help to reduce the impacts of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea.
It can be difficult to lose weight, especially if you’ve struggled for years. You don’t need to do it alone. Dr. Majid and the team at the Weight Loss and Wellness Center have years of experience helping people like you on their journey to becoming their healthiest selves. We’ll work with you to create a customized plan that is best suited to you and your body, whether that involves bariatric surgery or non-surgical solutions, such as group therapy and nutritional counselling. Dr. Majid provides you with lifelong support in achieving your goals and maintaining a healthy weight.