Obese Women 40 percent More Likely to Develop Seven Types of Cancer

   |  Updated: March 18, 2015 19:50 IST

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Obese Women 40 percent More Likely to Develop Seven Types of Cancer

We all know the ill-effects of obesity all too well, but a new study sheds light on some scary facts. A study by the Cancer Research UK says obese women have around 40 percent greater risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime than women of a healthy weight. Not only this, it increases  a woman's risk of developing at least seven types of cancer - including bowel, post-menopausal breast, gallbladder, womb, kidney, pancreatic and oesophageal cancer.

The new statistics find that obese women have around a one in four risk of developing a cancer linked to weight in their lifetime. In a group of 1,000 obese women, 274 will be diagnosed with a bodyweight-linked cancer in their lifetime, compared to 194 women diagnosed in a group of 1,000 healthy weight women.

There are different ways that obesity could increase the risk of cancer, and one possibility is that it is linked to a fat cell's production of hormones - especially oestrogen. This hormone is thought to fuel the development of cancer.

Dr. Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said - We know that our cancer risk depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and other aspects of our lives, many of which we can control - helping people understand how they can reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place remains crucial in tackling the disease.

Photo: Cancer Research UK

"Losing weight takes time so gradually build on these to achieve a healthier lifestyle that you can maintain. And find out about local services, which can provide help and support to make lifestyle changes over the long term."

She further added "Lifestyle changes - like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on alcohol - are the big opportunities for us all to personally reduce our cancer risk. Making these changes is not a guarantee against cancer, but it stacks the odds in our favour," Julie said.

This isn’t the first time such statistics have come to the fore. In the past, a study by the journal The Lancet found that in one year alone, 3.6 percent of new cancer cases were attributed to obesity – and this rate was higher in women than in men.

With Inputs from IANS

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Tags:  Obesity

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