Obesity Linked to 8 Cancers in New Scientific Study

Genetics Obesity

Obesity Linked to 8 Cancers — An international team of researchers has identified eight types of cancer linked to excess weight and obesity: stomach cancer, liver, gallbladder ancer, pancreas cancer, ovary cancer, meningioma (a type of brain tumor), cancer of the thyroid and multiple myeloma, according to results of a study published in the very prestigious medical journal the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), based in France, conducted a meta-analysis and examined the medical data of more than a thousand studies on the link between overweight and cancer risks.

These results could have a significant impact on the world population. “Worldwide, an estimated 640 million adults and 110 million children are obese, a third of adults and children in the United States,” says the study.

9% of cancer among women in North America, Europe and the Middle East are linked to obesity. In 2002, the same researchers have found that excess weight was related to colon cancer, esophagus cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer and uterus cancer. This new study holds obesity as the culprit for stomach cancer, liver cancer, gallbladder cancer, cancer of the pancreas, ovarian cancer, meningioma (a type of brain tumor), cancer of the thyroid and multiple myeloma.

Excess fat leads to an overproduction of estrogen, testosterone and insulin, and promotes inflammation, which can stimulate cancer growth. “The burden of cancer due to overweight or obesity is much more important than previously thought,” said Graham Colditz, chairman of the working group of IARC, and a member of the medical school of Washington University in St. Louis. “Many of the newly identified cancers are linked to excess weight and had not been previously reported as such.”

Having a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and practicing of physical exercise can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of cancer. “Public health efforts in the fight against cancer should focus on modifiable risk factors,” said Graham Colditz.

“But weight loss is difficult for many people,” he added. “Rather than be discouraged and give up, those struggling to lose weight should instead focus on not gaining more.”


Garucho, with multilingual abilities, covers international stories for The Cubic Lane. On the side, he enjoys travelling and learning about different cultures.

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