Obesity and cancer

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Up to 40 percent of all cancers can be related to obesity, according to some new research.

The report, entitled Vital Signs, was compiled by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with researchers from the National Cancer Institute. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2013 and 2014, as many as 2 in 3 adults were deemed overweight or obese. (I’m afraid I’m in there, too.) Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 kilograms per square meter, and obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 kilograms per square meter and over.

The researchers looked at the 13 types of cancer that have traditionally been associated with being overweight and having obesity. These include a type of esophageal cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma, postmenopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, gallbladder cancer, and gastric cardia cancer. Additionally, the researchers looked at cancer of the kidney, liver, and thyroid, as well as ovarian and pancreatic cancer. The report also examined meningioma, which is a slow-progressing type of brain tumor, and multiple myeloma.

Overall, in 2014, approximately 630,000 people in the U.S. received a diagnosis of one of the aforementioned cancers, which represents a staggering 40 percent of all diagnosed cancers. The incidence rate was particularly high among adults aged 50 and above. In fact, 2 in 3 of these cancers occurred in those aged between 50 and 74; more cancers were linked with obesity in women than in men.

Regarding obesity-associated cancers, these rose by 7 percent between 2005 and 2014. By comparison, the incidence of cancers not associated with obesity declined by 13 percent during that time. Colorectal cancer also decreased by 23 percent, most likely due to screening practices.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, who is the director of the CDC, comments on the findings: “A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended – and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers – so these findings are a cause for concern […] By getting to and keeping a healthy weight, we all can play a role in cancer prevention.”

Time for me to get off my assets and start working on my figure.

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