Obesity and cancer
studies suggest that those with a BMI more than 40 (morbidly obese)
had death rates from cancer that were 52 percent higher for men
and 62 percent higher for women, when compared to rates for normal-weight
men and women.
Cancer involves the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that have
mutated from normal tissues. These cells prevent normal function
of vital organs, damaging essential systems.
In both men and women, a higher BMI is associated with higher death
rates from cancers of the oesophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder,
pancreas, and kidney.
The same trend applies to cancers of the stomach and prostate in
men, and cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, and ovaries in women.
- Obesity may also increase the risk of colon cancer.
- Almost half of post-menopausal women diagnosed with breast
cancer have a BMI greater than 29. One study indicates (the Nurses’
Health Study) women who gain more than 10 kg from age 18 to midlife,
double their risk of breast cancer, compared to women whose weight