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Obesity link to female cancer investigated

Tuesday April 19th 2022

Women who are obese throughout their lives face a doubled risk of developing endometrial cancer, British researchers report today.

A detailed genetic analysis of links between the cancer and obesity also points to two common hormones, testosterone and fasting insulin, that link the two conditions.

Researchers studied 120,000 women from seven countries, including the UK, USA, Australia and four others in Europe.

The study, reported in BMC Medicine, showed that for every extra five units of body mass index, a woman faced an 88% increase in risk of developing endometrial cancer. This is equivalent to two stones on the weight of a woman of five foot five inches.

Researcher Emma Hazelwood, from the University of Bristol, said: "This study is an interesting first step into how genetic analyses could be used to uncover exactly how obesity causes cancer, and what can be done to tackle it. Links between obesity and womb cancer are well-known but this is one of the largest studies which has looked into exactly why that is on a molecular level.

“We look forward to further research exploring how we can now use this information to help reduce the risk of cancer in people struggling with obesity.”

Dr Julie Sharp, from Cancer Research UK, said: “More research is needed to investigate exactly which treatments and drugs could be used to manage cancer risk among people struggling with obesity. We already know that being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing 13 different types of cancer.”

Identifying molecular mediators of the relationship between body mass index and endometrial cancer risk: a Mendelian randomization analysis. BMC Medicine 19 April 2022

[abstract]

Tags: Australia | Cancer | Diet & Food | Europe | Fitness | Genetics | North America | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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