Obesity is strongly linked to the development of 11 types of cancers, including breast, kidney, rectum, colon, and pancreatic cancer, scientists warned in a new study.
The research on excess body fat and cancer, published in the British Medical Journal, reviewed more than 200 studies on cancer and obesity and found “strong evidence” of a connection between increased body fat and 11 cancers.
“Other associations could also be genuine, but there is still substantial uncertainty about them,” lead study author Dr. Maria Kyrgiou, of Imperial College London, said by email, according to reports from several news outlets.
Researchers specifically reviewed the data on body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height, and discovered links between an increase in BMI and a higher risk for cancers of the pancreas, kidney, bone marrow, esophagus and biliary tract.
The strongest connection was discovered between obesity and cancer of the digestive organs, and excess fat and hormone-related cancers in women, according to the survey.
But, the study authors cautioned that more research is needed to better understand the connection between obesity and cancer.
Cancer is a leading cause of death globally, with almost 9 million people dying from a form of the disease in 2015, according to the World Health Organization, and the numbers are expected to continue increasing by about 70 percent over the next two decades, the WHO said on its website.
Almost 2 million adults are overweight or obese, the WHO reported. Obesity increases the risks for all kinds of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
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