Can Being Obese Increase Your Risk of Cancer?

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Risk of developing cancer may be aggressively increased by obesity and overweight as per a study at the University of Bergen, published in Nature Communications.

Cancer is caused by genetic changes that break down normal constraints on cell growth. The researchers have discovered that the changing environment surrounding the cancerous cell, from a normal weight body to an overweight or obese body, pushes the cancer cell to adapt. This allows the malignant cells to form a tumor.

‘Lipids associated with obesity may make cancer cells more vulnerable to forming actual tumors, thereby making obesity one of the risk factors of cancer.

“This means that even in the absence of new gene mutations, obesity increases the risk that tumors will form”, says associate professor Nils Halberg.

Obesity is the cause of approximately 500 000 new cancer cases each year – a number that is expected to grow as obesity rates continue to increase.

“To scientifically dissect how these two complicated diseases interact has been extremely interesting and rewarding. Especially as this new understanding will enable researchers to design improved treatments for obese cancer patients”, Halberg adds.

Source: Eurekalert

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