Advertisement

How is cancer linked to obesity?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Obesity increases cancer risk. The exact reasoning remains unclear, but fat cells are highly active, releasing large amounts of hormones like estrogen, insulin, and insulin-like growth factors that can fuel many cancers.


The risk for many types of cancers declines when you lose weight, but it's particularly true for breast and uterine cancer, where losing only 8 pounds can significantly reduce the levels of specific carcinogenic hormones.

 


This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
Obesity increases the risk of developing cancers of the colon, pancreas, endometrium, and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. We used to think adipose tissue or body fat was inactive, and acted as a "shock absorber" for our organs, as well as acting like an insulator to keep us warm. We are learning that fat acts like an organ pumping out estrogen and other hormones like insulin like growth factor into the bloodstream. These hormones promote the growth of abnormal cells and inhibit cells from dying when they should. Losing a small amount of weight by reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity can help lower the amounts of these hormones in the blood.

Continue Learning about Obesity

How Your Diet Now Can Affect Your Future Children
How Your Diet Now Can Affect Your Future Children
In 2007, the heaviest woman ever to give birth weighed in at 532 pounds and it took 30 doctors to perform the C-section. While she’s an extreme exampl...
Read More
Who is considered obese?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Obesity is is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated using your heig...
More Answers
4 Things Overweight People Are Tired of Hearing
4 Things Overweight People Are Tired of Hearing4 Things Overweight People Are Tired of Hearing4 Things Overweight People Are Tired of Hearing4 Things Overweight People Are Tired of Hearing
Don't make someone feel small just because they're a bit bigger.
Start Slideshow
Treating Obesity to Fight Type 2 Diabetes
Treating Obesity to Fight Type 2 Diabetes

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.