Obesity and the Risk for Cancer

Woman measuring waist of overweight  man with tape measure, middle section

Woman measuring waist of overweight man with tape measure, middle section

Obesity is defined as a condition where a person has an abnormally high proportion of body fat.  People who are obese because of the higher concentration of fat tissue; tend to be at higher risk of developing certain types of cancers including:
• Esophageal
• Pancreatic
• Colon and Rectum
• Breast (post menopause)
• Endometrial
• Kidney
• Thyroid
• Gallbladder
There are many reasons that obesity may raise the risk of developing cancer. These include:
• People who are obese have high levels of body fat which triggers an increase in estrogen production. Higher than normal levels of estrogen is associated with an increased risk of developing breast, endometrial and other types of cancer.
• Obese people are often found to have increased levels of insulin in their blood which can promote the growth of certain tumors
• Fat cells produce hormones called adipokines that can stimulate tumor growth
• People who are obese have chronic low level inflammation that can increase the risk for certain cancers.
While the evidence is not conclusive, it is believed that losing weight, and more importantly body fat, can help prevent the risk of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial to your overall health  and can  be accomplished by eating well and exercising.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss weight loss, and to learn more about Bariatric Surgery as an option, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.