Obesity and Cancer

Things have not gone well and for reasons unknown, you are overweight. It would not be unfair for you to believe that the gods conspire against you. They probably do. Your metabolism slows down. Your body produces more Gherlins, the hunger hormone. Even the exercises you do don’t seem to have the same effect. If this was not enough, researchers have found that you may also be predisposed to various types of cancer. The research has not made a conclusive link of how this happens but it does seem to happen.

The linkage between cancer and obesity has been made with breast cancer, bowel, oesophageal, pancreatic, kidney, liver, stomach, ovarian and thyroid. Many of these cancers are extremely difficult to treat. It is commonly accepted that a BMI level higher than 30 puts you in the category of obese. With our current lifestyles, large swathes of humanity have probably for the first time in a generation exposed itself to such risk.
So what is it about obesity that creates a predisposition. Fat cells produce both hormones and proteins. They are then spread through out the body. These chemical messengers it is believed affect several parts of your body. This increases the risk of cancer. Also, fat cells attract immune cells to the tissue. Long term this causes inflammation. This also increases the risk of cancer. Excess fat affects the level of oestrogen and progesterone. This can also cause cancer. Finally, obesity causes higher levels of insulin in the body. Research has not established its impact on cancer but it is believed to affect cell division which can result in cancer. Finally, belly fat is linked to cancer.

So is there a silver lining anywhere? Fortunately, it is really not that hard to lose weight. There is no quick fix. A few lifestyle changes have to be made. Perhaps the most important are the belief that you are NOT on a diet. It’s just different from the way you ate before.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

2 thoughts on “Obesity and Cancer

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