Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weight Gain vs Cancer Risk

Research from the UK shows that maintaining a healthy weight may decrease a person’s risk of developing up to a dozen different types of cancer by very significant margins. The study’s lead author is Dr. Andrew Renehan, senior lecturer at the School of Cancer Studies at the University of Manchester. The findings were published in the February, 2008, issue of the prestigious UK medical journal, The Lancet.

The researchers analyzed data from 141 previous studies with information on over 280,000 people who were followed for up to 15 years. This approach expanded the research to more types of cancers and more diverse populations than researchers had ever looked at before. Researchers have long suspected a link between weight gain and certain cancers, including colon and breast cancers. But the new study suggests it could also increase the risk for cancer of the esophagus, thyroid, kidney, uterus and gall bladder, among others.

The study results show that in men, an average weight gain of 33 pounds increased the risk of esophageal cancer by 52%, thyroid cancer by 33%, and colon and kidney cancers each by 24%. In women, a weight gain of 29 pounds increased the risk of cancer in the uterus and gall bladder by nearly 60%, esophagus by 51% and kidney by 34%.

“This study provides a lot of circumstantial evidence about the dangers of obesity,” said Dr. David Robbins, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, who was not involved in the study. “It also highlights the cancer crisis we face as obesity rates increase worldwide.”

“One of the hypotheses is that the presence of excess fat cells could affect the levels of hormones in your body,” Renehan said. “At a cellular level, that may favor the development of tumors in humans.”

“The simple message is that, if you manage to keep a healthy body weight, you will have a lower risk of developing cancer,” said Ed Yong, of Cancer Research United Kingdom.

If you would like to lose weight once and for all – the first step is understanding the true cause of an overweight condition - and the many myths about weight loss that are so prevalent today. For more info you can contact John Hall: or call 312.421.6640

To Your Health,

John Hall

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