Cancer is one of the global leading causes of death, and more than one-seventh of the population is considered obese. Researchers have been studying the connection between these two health problems for years, and while there has always been a debate over how obesity is linked to cancer, studies are now being published that prove that it plays a bigger role than we thought. The higher the body mass index (BMI), the higher the risk of dying from malignant tumors.
Obesity and Hormone-Related Tumors
Excessive weight gain in women, especially that centred around the midsection, seems to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. For every 0.1 unit increase of weight in the midsection, the risk of developing a malignant tumor jumps by 21%. Breast cancer in postmenopausal women increases by 11% by every 5 kilograms of adult weight gain.
Obesity and Digestive Tumors
Excessive weight gain in men is linked to an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer as well as biliary tract tumors. Colorectal and gallbladder cancers are also strongly linked to morbid obesity. However, the research is yet unclear as to how obesity directly affects or influences the development of these cancers. More concrete studies are needed to determine if obesity directly causes malignant tumors.
How Bariatric Surgery Can Help
There has never been a shortage of research on how obesity severely affects our health. For patients who are considered morbidly obese, lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy diet, may not be sufficient to reduce excess body fat. According to the Swedish Obesity Study, where more than 2,000 patients were followed for more than 20 years, weight loss surgery dramatically reduces the risk of cancer, especially in women. What these studies indicate is that obese adults should do whatever it takes to lose weight. If you find yourself struggling to shed the necessary pounds, bariatric surgery may be the logical next step.