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Monday 18th June 2018

Obesity causing more cancer

5th December 2006

25082006_obese1.jpgObesity-related cancers are likely to rise from 10,500 cases per year to 12,000 by 2010, say experts.

As obesity in the UK reaches crisis levels, Cancer Research UK has warned that this will mean a significant rise in the numbers of weight-related cancers. Although it is now well established that being overweight increases the risk of developing several types of cancer, a survey by the charity found that only 29% of overweight or obese people were aware of the cancer connection. The Department of Health predicts a 14% increase in obesity by 2010, which will mean 27.6 million people in the UK will be classified as obese which is likely to result in around 1,500 additional weight-related cancers each year.

Excess weight is responsible for 3.8% of all cancers. Breast and womb cancers are almost certainly due to the increased production of the hormone oestrogen in fatty tissue. There is also evidence for a link between obesity and cancers of the bowel and kidney. Obese people who develop cancer also have a poorer prognosis that those with a healthy weight.

After smoking, obesity is one of the most preventable causes of cancer. In the UK nearly a quarter of the adult population is now classed as obese and 20% of children are considered to be overweight. Cancer Research UK has called for a healthy eating and exercise campaign aimed at children and young adults in a bid to curb this worrying trend.


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