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Weight link to cancer

Thursday August 14th, 2014

More than 12,000 cases of cancer in the UK every year are the result of people being overweight or obese, according to an analysis published today.

Too much weight was linked to cancers of the breast, liver, bowel and ovaries.

They were also linked to increased risk of leukaemia and cancers of the thyroid, cervix, kidney, gallbladder and womb.

The biggest increase in risk was related to the womb - a 62% increase - while risk of breast cancer increased by 5%. Researchers said as many as 41% of cases of cancer of the womb - or uterine cancer - could be caused by obesity.

The findings, published in The Lancet, come from an analysis of more than five million people on GP records in the UK.

Researchers said there was some evidence of reduced risk of two kinds of cancer for overweight people - that of the prostate and of premenopausal breast cancer.

Researcher Dr Krishnan Bhaskaran, National of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK, said: "The number of people who are overweight or obese is rapidly increasing both in the UK and worldwide. It is well recognised that this is likely to cause more diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Our results show that if these trends continue, we can also expect to see substantially more cancers as a result."

Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5·24 million UK adults. Lancet 14 August 2014 [abstract]

Tags: Cancer | Diet & Food | Menís Health | UK News | Womenís Health & Gynaecology

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