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Excess Weight Tied to 8 New Cancer Types: Review

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A review of more than 1,000 studies has found a link between excess weight and eight new types of cancer.

Scientists have eight more reasons for you to watch what you eat.

A review of more than 1,000 studies has found a link between excess weight and eight new types of cancer.

They include cancers of the stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, ovary, thyroid, meningioma brain tumors and multiple myeloma.

The studies were analyzed by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the group’s findings will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday.

“The burden of cancer due to being overweight or obese is more extensive than what has been assumed,” said Graham Colditz, a cancer prevention expert and the chair of the IARC research group.

He added, “many of the newly identified cancers linked to excess weight haven’t been on people’s radar screens as having a weight component.”

For most of the cancers on the new list, researchers found a correlation between body-mass index and the disease. The higher the BMI, the greater the likelihood a person had of developing cancer.

The group says the reason for the link is because excess fat can lead to more estrogen, testosterone, insulin and inflammation. These things can all promote cancer growth.


Researchers also found the risk of developing cancer was similar for men and women and consistent around the world where data was available.

That’s why the group says it’s important people maintain a healthy diet and exercise to reduce their cancer risk.

“Public health efforts to combat cancer should focus on these things that people have some control over,” said Colditz.

Still Colditz acknowledged losing weight can be difficult for some, so he suggested people instead focus on being healthy.

“Rather than getting discouraged and giving up, those struggling to take off weight could instead focus on avoiding more weight gain,” he said.

In the past, IARC researchers have also linked excess weight to other cancers, including those of the colon, esophagus, kidney, breast and uterus.

In Canada, there are approximately 14 million obese or overweight adults and nearly 500,000 youth, according to self-reported data.

CTVNews.ca Staff     Published Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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