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Colorectal Cancer and Obesity Linked


Leptin is a pluripotent cytokine that is derived from fat-tissue. The hormone is involved in regulating appetite and energy balance in the brain and also plays a part in carcinogenesis (the creation process of cancer cells). In particular, this hormone has been linked to colorectal cancer.

Researchers have long known that obesity and colon cancer were linked: now they know why. Thanks to a collaborative study published in the journal Endrocrine-Related Cancer shows that trageting liptin receptors may lead to a new treatment of colon cancer, especially in obese patients.

Cancer stem cells have a long life-span, can self-renew, cause tumors, and increase resistance to treatments and lead to cancer recurrence. Leptin has been linked to this key cell population in colon cancer. If researchers can find a way to block Leptin reception, they could potentially slow the progress of the cancer.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, “Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers.”

The cancer comes from the polyps that may form in this area. Because polyps do not always causes symptoms, doctors recommend regular screening tests to find polyps before they become cancerous.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer includes a change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool for more than a couple of weeks; rectal bleeding or blood in your stool; persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain; a feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely; weakness or fatigue and unexplained weight loss.

Risk factors include:

• Older than 50
• African-American race.
• A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
• Inflammatory intestinal conditions.
• Inherited syndromes that increase colon cancer risk. Genetic syndromes passed through generations of your family can increase your risk of colon cancer. These syndromes include familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, which is also known as Lynch syndrome.
• Family history of colon cancer and colon polyps.
• Low-fiber, high-fat diet.
• A sedentary lifestyle.
• Diabetes.
• Obesity.
• Smoking.
• Alcohol.
• Radiation therapy for cancer. Radiation therapy directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers may increase the risk of colon cancer.