To Your Health
September, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 09)
Obesity and Cancer: Only a Matter of Time?
By Editorial Staff
An estimated 36 percent of women are now considered obese. The importance of this statistic has nothing to do with image, beauty or perception, none of which should be influenced by a woman's weight; it's concerning from a pure health perspective
, because obesity has been associated with numerous negative health consequences including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and yes, even cancer.
The obesity problem becomes even more concerning when it's persistent, meaning one suffers from it for a prolonged period of time. For example, research suggests a decade of obesity elevates the risk of developing several types of cancer. Here are the female-specific increases in cancer risk for every 10 years a woman is obese, based on a 12-year analysis of nearly 75,000 U.S. women:
- Any type of cancer: 7 percent increased risk
- Postmenopausal breast cancer: 5 percent increased risk
- Endometrial cancer: 17 percent increased risk
Considering breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer in U.S. women, understanding the risk factors – and then doing something to mitigate them – is a key step in reducing the cancer burden and, quite frankly, saving more lives. For the more than one in three women classified as obese, achieving a healthier weight could be the first – and most important – step.
Talk to your doctor for more information on the dangers of obesity and to develop a strategy to lose weight, improve your health and reduce your cancer risk.