Cancer Research UK has conducted a study examining the impact of obesity on cancer. The study represented a statistical analysis of certain cancer cases and the link towards weight related cancer and has global relevance due to the public health burden associated with these cases.
The research findings revealed 40% of obese women have a risk of developing cancer and that obesity 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.
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.
“Losing weight isn’t easy, but you don’t have to join a gym and run miles every day or give up your favorite food forever”, said Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK. “Just making small changes that you can maintain in the long term can have a real impact. To get started try getting off the bus a stop earlier and cutting down on fatty and sugary foods. 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”.
“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.
“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.”