Obesity and cancer, are they related?

For many years now, things like tobacco, alcohol and sunlight exposure have been recognized as principal exogenous cancer risk factors, however, obesity is now heading lists of cancer risk factors due to the increasing number of studies demonstrating the link between obesity and cancer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the measure used for determinate if a person suffers from obesity. A person with a BMI of 25 is considered overweight and with and BMI equals 30 or more is considered obese. A normal BMI rank would be between 18.5 and 24.9

Excess body fat is now considered a major global public health problem, with 67% of the US population, 63% of the UK and 64% of Australia population being diagnosed with obesity following BMI criteria in 2014. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute warns about the many complications that can derive from obesity such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, sleep anemia, heart diseases, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and cancer.

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) list breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, renal, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder and esophageal cancer as some of the cancers linked to obesity. Adipose tissue inflammation may be a key process by which obesity promotes cancer, as adipose tissue outgrows its blood supply, and this causes a decrease of oxygen and cell stress, leading to cell death and the release of inflammatory proteins.

Mayo Clinic recommends exercising regularly, follow a healthy eating plan, monitor your weight and overall be consistent and watch out for your health, to avoid this, now seen as pandemic-disease. Making this lifelong healthy lifestyle changes could save your life.