Losing weight: Can it lower cancer risk?
Everyone’s cancer risk increases as they get older. Some risk factors cannot be controlled. Your age, gender and family history increase or decrease your risk for certain cancers. Fortunately, other risk factors, such as smoking, being overweight or having obesity, can be prevented.
When you gain weight as an adult, your risk for several cancers increases. Even small increases in weight can make you more likely to develop cancer, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Health authorities don’t know for certain how weight increases a person’s risk for cancer. It could be that fat cells release hormones that affect the way cells grow. It could also be related to poor eating habits and physical inactivity, which contribute to gaining weight.
Being overweight increases the risk of developing certain cancers, including the following:
- breast cancer, after menopause
- colorectal cancer
- endometrium (lining of the uterus) cancer
- gallbladder cancer
- kidney cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- esophageal cancer
- liver cancer
Prevent obesity to lower cancer risk
Whether you lose weight by having surgery or by changing your eating and exercise habits, weight loss may lower your cancer risk. Therefore, health authorities recommend avoiding weight gain to prevent a rise in cancer risk. Additionally, healthy eating and physical activity habits may possibly lower your cancer risk. Studies are inconclusive at this point.
Although weight-loss surgery isn’t appropriate for everyone who has obesity, studies show it is the most effective long-term strategy for losing weight. Bariatric surgery improves many health problems related to obesity including: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and sleep apnea. After weight-loss surgery, many people say they enjoy a better quality of life. They are able to do more things and feel better.
To learn more about bariatric surgery, attend a free educational seminar through Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center. Weight-loss surgery works in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. It requires a lifetime commitment to healthy eating and consistent exercise habits.