Of course, most people know that being overweight isn’t healthy, but did you know that there is a direct link between obesity and cancer?
Obesity is directly associated with increased mortality from certain cancers. It is believed that overweight and obesity could account for 14% of all deaths from cancer in men, and 20% of those in women (US figures).
Cancers which are particularly associated with obesity include:
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colon cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Gall bladder cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Renal cancer
- Uterine cancer
Does Obesity Cause More Cancer Than Genes?
That’s higher than the number of cancers which are linked to genetic defects (5-10%). Many people believe that one’s chances of cancer are preordained by genes, but in fact, your chances of cancer are more significantly impacted by lifestyle choices.
There are other causes of cancer, of course, including infection, smoking, diet, alcohol consumption, radiation, and environmental pollution.
Common Denominators Between Obesity and Cancer
- Sex steroids
- Body fat
- Insulin resistance
What Can You Do To Reduce Risk Of Cancer?
Diet, obesity and metabolic syndrome combined account for as much as 30-45% of cancer deaths. This means that modifying your diet can be a major step in reducing your chances of cancer. Alcohol consumption is also a significant risk factor for cancer.
Eating more fruits, vegetables, grains and spices, and reducing your consumption of red meat is a good start. Limit or eliminate processed foods, and choose your foods from sources which are organic when possible.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, spices and teas all contain phytochemicals that help prevent cancer. Chemopreventive compounds found in fruits and vegetables include vitamins, carotenoids, resveratrol, silymarin, quercetin and more. The green tea that you chose to help you lose weight also contains catechins that offer protection against various cancers.
If you’re overweight or obese, make the decision to regain your health by achieving a normal weight. The safest, quickest and healthiest way to do that is through medical weight loss, where you are given a customized program that is tailored to your personal health issues, and supervised by a doctor. No gimmicks, no shakes, no pre-packaged processed foods. Instead, learn to eat a natural and healthy diet that will work for you for a lifetime, in combination with other lifestyle changes that help my patients succeed in reaching their weight loss goals and keeping the weight off over the long term.
Exercise Helps Too
Exercise and physical activity also helps to reduce the incidence of some cancers. In other words, this is one more lifestyle change that you may make initially to lose weight, that can also help you avoid cancer.
If you’re concerned about reducing your cancer risk after reading about this obesity and cancer link… it’s time to make an appointment to begin finding out how you can lose the excess weight. There’s no obligation – come in and meet with me in my office in Honolulu, Hawaii, and find out how medical weight loss can help.