Obesity And Cancer: Health Reasons Why Obesity Can Cause Cancer(2023)


A study published in the Lancet Oncology in 2018 estimated that around 4.5 percent of all cancer cases in India were attributable to overweight and obesity.
Fat tissue also known as Adipose tissue produces high levels of estrogen, which has been associated with breast, ovarian, endometrial and certain other types of cancers. Secondly, it is well known that obesity means a higher body mass index (BMI). Increased BMI results can affect the natural process of insulin resistance – production of Insulin called Hyperinsulinemia and prolong the duration of the action of insulin-like growth Factor – 1 (IGF – 1). This can lead to colon, renal, prostate, and endometrial cancer.

According to a study published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), breast, colorectal and uterine cancer are the three most common types of cancer among women, and incidentally all are linked to “obesity”. Also, those with obesity have high levels of inflammatory cytokines, which increases chronic inflammatory diseases including gallstones and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This leads to DNA damage and can cause cancer of the biliary tract and other cancers.

Fat does not sit in one place. It can become dysfunctional, resulting in inflammation, which increases the risk of developing cancer.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce obesity and cancer risk. 


With more people living a sedentary lifestyle, obesity cases are growing, thus increasing the risk of cancer. There are indirect factors that people are aware of but tend to overlook. Poor eating habits or an unhealthy diet take center stage when it comes to obesity. Untimely and unhealthy eating like processed food, and junk food becomes the order of the day. Being physically inactive only adds to the problem. One must include fruits and leafy green vegetables in their diet. Little do such people realise that “indirectly” they are “inviting” cancer – cancer of the digestive tract.

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