The rise of obesity-related cancers
Heart disease and diabetes aren’t the only chronic health issues obese people should worry about: New research shows that cancers related to being overweight now account for more than a third of all diagnoses of the disease in the U.S. In a review of data from the U.S. Cancer Statistics database, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that rates of obesity-linked cancers increased by 7_percent between 2005 and 2014, a period when diagnoses of cancers with no link to obesity decreased by 13_percent. The one exception was colorectal cancer, rates of which dropped by 23_percent, likely due to dramatic improvements in screenings for precancerous growths. Overall, there are 13 different forms of cancer tied to excess body fat. They include multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, as well as cancers of the brain, esophagus, breast, ovaries, uterus, thyroid, gallbladder, kidney, stomach, liver, and pancreas. “There are many good reasons to strive for a healthy weight,” the CDC’s Anne Schuchat tells Reuters.com. “Now you can add cancer to the list.” Scientists are still working to understand exactly how obesity affects the risk for certain cancers. Research suggests that being overweight triggers chronic low-level inflammation that could lead to DNA damage. Obese people also have higher levels of estrogen and insulin, which are associated with several forms of cancer.