Obesity & Cancer: A Lesser Known “Relationship” Story


What is Obesity?

According to National Institute of Health (NIH) a person is said to be obese when the Body Mass Index (BMI) have touches 30 or more. The BMI is calculated by the simple formula as follow-

[Person’s Weight (Kilogram)/ Person’s Height (Meter)] 2

In simple words, obesity is a situation when a person has body fat in abnormal proportion.

Obesity & Cancer: A Lesser Known “Relationship” Story

What is Cancer?

Cancer is the abnormal scenario when the cells divide without control and also able to invade other tissues. It is a disease which has hundred variations.

The Relation between the Two:

How Obesity intertwined with Cancer?

Obesity is not only associated with overweight, as the recent study shows, it can also be associated with different types of cancers. The cancers that the obesity can cause are Esophagus, Kidney, Pancreas, Colon and Rectum, Breast (after menopause), Endometrium, Gallbladder, Thyroid and few other types of cancers.

What are the Probable that set the Relation?

Several causes have been set up to define how obesity can let to increment of risk of cancer. Few of the probable reasons that have been found out by the recent studies are:

  • Excess amounts of estrogen, product of fat, can be causing cancer in breast, endometrial, etc.
  • Hyperinsulinemia, increment of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)in the blood of obese can catalyze the development of certain tumors.
  •  Adipokines, a hormone the fat release, may stimulate the cell growth.
  • Chronic low-level inflammation in fat people has been associated with increased cancer risk.

Can it be Prevent?

It is not conclusive, still, that whether the weight loss, best common way to prevent obesity, has the ability to lessen down the risk of cancer. NHI had held weight loss trials and those trials have proved that losing weight decreases the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, while improving their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. But the studies couldn’t conclude that weight losing is decrementing the chance of having cancer. The reason is the cause of losing the weight which the most studies have not been able to evaluate the fact that the weight loss was done to avoid obesity or other health issues.


A futuristic analysis when done, taking 2030 as the base, shows continuation of existing obesity trends can lead 5, 00,000 additional cancer case in U.S. The number can decrease to 1, 00,000 if every adult can reduce their BMI by 1 percent, equivalent to 1 kg weight loss of an average weight person.

So to stop the cancer epidemic, step, it may be single, should be taken to get rid of obesity and change the future.