Thousands of cancer deaths yearly from excess body fat

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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Estimates show that thousands of cancer deaths occur yearly from excess body fat. Cancer is preventable with effective weight management. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), over 100,000 cancer deaths likely occur each year from obesity.

The AICR has launched a public campaign to raise public awareness that cancer deaths could probably be prevented by curbing obesity. Deaths linked to excess body fat include including cancers of the endometrium, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, breast and colorectal cancer.

Estimates that more six percent of cancers are caused by obesity come from past studies that provide “convincing evidence” that several types of cancers are preventable by curbing accumulation of too much body fat.

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According to estimates, 33000 cases of breast cancer, roughly 21000 incidences of endometrial cancer, and 13000 cases of colorectal cancer deaths occur yearly from obesity.

According to Tim Byers, MD, PhD, interim director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and a co-author of the AICR report says, "We believe these estimates are as good as it is possible to achieve, given the available data."

Laurence N. Kolonel, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and a member of the AICR/WCRF expert panel summarized evidence that more than 100,000 cancer deaths yearly occur from obesity.

In cases of breast and endometrial cancer, estrogen that accumulates in body fat contributes to cancer cell growth. Fat produces hormones that produce inflammation in the body, in turn promoting heart disease, diabetes – and cancer.

Despite the evidence, and “plausible” link between obesity and thousands of cancer deaths yearly, the researchers say public awareness of preventable cancer deaths from weight management is low. The AICR hopes to raise public awareness that over 100,000 cancer deaths could be prevented each year by targeting obesity.

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