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Being overweight is one of the avoidable risk factors for cancer. However, the number of cancers linked to excess weight continues to increase, warn health authorities.

Although the link between tobacco or alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer is well known to all, many are unaware that overweight and obesity (a person is considered overweight when their BMI is higher than 25 and that she is obese when this is greater than 30) are also risk factors for cancer.

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“Next to 19,000 new cases of cancer in France are attributable to being overweight, or 5.4% of all new cases of cancer” emphasizes the National Cancer Institute. “In overweight and / or obese people, there is an increase in the levels of several hormones such as estrogen or l ‘insulin. These factors are particularly involved in the proliferation of cancer cells,” add the scientists.

An increased risk for 13 cancers

Same observation on the other side of the Atlantic, where the National cancer institute and the Centers for disease control and prevention warn of the increased risk of a certain number of cancers in people with “higher amounts of body fat” . The CDC has determined that more than 684,000 cancers associated with excess weight are diagnosed each year in the United States, most often in people aged 50 and over.

Experts point out that being overweight or obese does not mean a person will get cancer, but it does increase their risk of being diagnosed with cancer. This risk is increased for:

  • Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus
  • Breast cancer (in postmenopausal women)
  • Colon and rectal cancers
  • Uterine cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • liver cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Meningioma (a type of brain cancer)

How to act to reduce this risk?

Calculate your body mass index : if you are overweight (BMI > 25) or obese (BMI > 30) or if you have gained weight since menopause, talk to your doctor who will suggest possible dietary management. But also :

  • Practice at least 30 minutes of dynamic physical activity such as brisk walking every day and limit sedentary activities (computer, television, etc.)
  • Choose foods with low energy density, such as fruits and vegetables, and eat foods containing dietary fiber
  • Monitor your weight on a regular basis, that is, at least once a month so that the pounds don’t pile up.


Obesity and cancerCenters for disease control and prevention

What is known about the relationship between obesity and cancer?National cancer institute

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