The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as “an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in adipose tissue, to the extent that health is affected.” Currently accepted criteria for overweight are defined as body mass index (BMI) levels above 25 kg / m2 and obesity as BMI 30 kg / m2. In addition to BMI, obesity is also associated with several lifestyle changes, including an increase in fat / energy-rich food intake and a reduction in physical activity.
“Currently, it is estimated that 1.1 billion people worldwide are overweight, of whom at least 300 million are obese. Cancer affects about 22 million people living with this condition. This makes it a major public health problem. .
Studies have shown that in the European Union, excess body weight accounts for 5% of all cases of cancer incidence, 3.5% in men and 6.5% in women. This means that 27,000 cases of male cancer and 45,000 cases of obese women are associated each year.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has assessed the association between cancer and obesity, focusing on certain types such as colon cancer, breast cancer (especially in menopausal women), endometrial cancer or uterus, adenocarcinoma of the kidney and esophagus. Other cancers related to obesity include pancreatic, ovarian, cervical and blood cancers.
In addition to favoring certain cancers, obesity is also linked to decreased life expectancy in certain neoplastic diseases (cancers). Some of the most important methods of cancer prevention include smoking, followed by obesity. “ explains surgeon Mihai Ionescu.
Types of cancers associated with obesity
Menopause also promotes weight gain in women and being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer after menopause. This is especially true among women who have never used hormone replacement therapy. Obesity also increases the risk of breast cancer recurrence and decreases survival in both pre- and postmenopausal.
Endometrial or uterine cancer
It is estimated that the risk of endometrial cancer in obese and overweight women will increase 2 to 5 times. Unlike breast cancer, the effect of obesity on endometrial cancer risk appears to remain constant throughout adulthood and is not affected by the onset of menopause.
Colon and rectal cancer
There are studies linking bowel cancer to obesity. Relative risk estimates ranged from 1.2 to 2.0. Obesity can lead to the development of colorectal cancer in an early stage and can also lead to the recurrence of adenomatous polyps, which are considered precursors of bowel cancer.
There is an increased risk of kidney cancer and obesity, especially in women with a high BMI, regardless of other risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes.
In Western countries, the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has increased with increasing obesity. Studies show that there is an estimated 2-3 times higher risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma with an increase in BMI. There is a possible increase in gastroesophageal reflux disease in obese people and this could be a causal link between esophageal cancers and obesity.
Types of cancers: prostate cancer and obesity
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has found no direct association between the incidence of prostate cancer and obesity. However, there is a link between obesity and the speed of cancer.
Bladder cancer and obesity
The risk of gallbladder cancer doubles in overweight subjects. Being overweight has also been linked to an increased risk of death from gallbladder cancer, “says Dr. Mihai Ionescu, a specialist in obesity surgery.