High BMIs Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

A primary reason Dr. Provost and his team are so passionate about treating obesity is we know the long-term impacts of obesity. It’s well known in the medical community that excess weight is a risk factor for many serious health problems. Obesity has been linked with several types of cancer, and some appear to be more closely-tied to weight than others. According to the American Cancer Society, one in every three deaths from cancer is tied to obesity. In the last year, the largest study of its kind on BMI and cancer showed that a higher BMI increases the risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers.

It was found that for each 5 kg/m² increase in BMI, there was a significant increase in risk for the following cancers:

  • uterus (62 percent increase)
  • gallbladder (31 percent increase)
  • kidney (25 percent increase)
  • cervix (10 percent increase)
  • leukemia (9 percent increase)
  • thyroid (9 percent increase)

A higher BMI also increased the risk of liver, colon, ovarian and breast cancers, the study showed.

While these findings may upset people who are struggling with obesity, recent research brings some potential good news for those considering bariatric surgery. A Brazilian study had discovered that surgery may help reduce the risk for certain cancers. Using the results of 13 studies involving more than 54,000 people, researchers found that bariatric surgery may have reduced the risk of cancer by 40 percent compared to obese people who did not have surgery. Weight-loss procedures decrease several things: inflammatory markers, oxidative stress and hormonal disturbances, which may in part explain the reduction in cancer risks. The reasons behind the reductions observed in the study, however, are beyond the scope of the study. It’s important to fully understand both the benefits and risks of surgical treatment for obesity.

If you would like to learn more about weight loss and treatment options, we are happy to help. You can reach us at 254-724-2397.

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