A new study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Imperial College, has revealed that obesity leads to 13 types of cancer, including that of pancreas and esophagus, as fat cells affect the processes that regulate the growth of cancer cells in the human body. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight or obese.
The most common types include breast and colon cancers
The 13 types of cancer, believed to have strong connection with weight gain, are oesophageal (food pipe), pancreatic, liver, stomach, colon and rectum, gallbladder, lung, kidney and gynaecological cancer. Among women, breast, ovary or uterus cancer could occur. According to the study, due to the excess fat in the body, fat cells produce hormones and proteins and besides being released into the bloodstream, these are also circulated around the body. Fat cells are also said to affect processes that regulate cancer cells’ growth and thus, they increase the risk of several different types of cancer. “The most common types include breast and colon, while the most difficult to treat include pancreatic, oesophageal and gallbladder cancer,” said the study.
Obesity is a greater risk of dying from cancer
"Obese had a greater risk of developing and also dying from several types of cancer," said Deep Goel, Director of Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Oncology Surgery at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital, while commenting on the study. “Let’s say, if there’s one normal-weight patient suffering from pancreatic cancer and another obese patient suffering from the same cancer of same stage, chances of an obese patient’s death are more over normal-weight patient,” said Goyal. Stating that insulin is a very important part of how the body uses energy from food, Goyal said: “When people are obese, the level of insulin increases in the body which may help cancer cells to develop. Moreover, fat accumulated in the body changes the levels of sex hormones -- oestrogen and testosterone, which again increases the risk of cancer.”