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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Losing Weight to Decrease your Risk of Cancer?

Could it be possible that obesity leads to cancer? Researchers seem to think so.

Researchers accumulated data from over 140 studies that covered more than 280,000 cases of diverse types of cancer and diverse populations from Asia, North America and Australia, to find out whether a high BMI (body mass index) could correlate with the occurrence of cancer. The subjects were followed from 9-15 years. What researchers found was that – yes- it appears that extra weight increases risk of various types of cancers.

The study was paid for by the University of Manchester, the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the British Medical Association.

While many doctors have suspected that obesity has an effect on breast and colon cancers, the study found that many other types of cancer may be affected by obesity. For instance, they found that men with a weight gain of around 33 pounds had a 52% risk increase for esophageal cancer, 33% increased risk for thyroid cancer and 24% increased risk of kidney and colon cancers.

They also found that women who gained 29 pounds increase their chances of developing esophageal cancer by 51%, gall bladder and uterus cancer by 60%, and are 34% more likely to develop kidney cancer.

While there is no proof that extra weight causes cancer, the study does bring up a lot of questions about whether eating right and staying healthy can affect your chances of developing cancer.

Although many studies will be done to see if obesity and cancer are linked, it is in everyone’s best interest to eat healthy, exercise and keep your weight - and possibly the chances of cancer and other diseases – low.






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