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The Link between Obesity and Cancer

Obesity impacts every single aspect of an individual's life. The extra pounds that you carry on your body are not only affecting you physically but mentally, socially, and emotionally as well. Over  decades, obesity has emerged as one of the leading health concerns, primarily owing to the various risks and complications that come with it. In this blog, we have particularly elaborated on the link between obesity and cancer with the help of the best cancer doctors in India to help you understand why losing those extra pounds is more of a necessity than a choice.

Obesity: Not just a cosmetic problem

Obesity is a problem that affects nearly 13 percent of the adult population and around 18.9 percent of adolescents. In simple terms, obesity may be defined as the abnormal build-up of fat in the body, but the complexity of the problem goes beyond this definition. It wouldn’t have been much of a concern if the impact was just cosmetic, but there is  plethora of different ways in which obesity can affect you.

Research has also shown a clear link between obesity and cancer, especially colorectal cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, esophageal cancer, renal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Here are some points listed by the experts offering the best cancer treatment in India that may help you understand this link:

  • Hormonal Factors: Cancer is caused by the abnormal multiplication of malignant cells. Excessive body fat can promote the production of certain hormones and growth factors that can support the multiplication of certain cells in the body. One of the most common examples is oestrogen, which is a known risk factor for post-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer.
  • Inflammation: Obesity is marked by chronic inflammation. This is because the fat cells are comparatively larger and hardly leave any room for oxygen. The depleted oxygen levels lead to inflammation, which is known to elevate one’s risk of developing cancer. The cytokines and adipokines secreted by the fat tissue further support the growth of malignant masses, i.e., tumours.
  • Oxidative Stress: obesity can induce oxidative stress due to the increased production of reactive oxygen species. This can in turn damage DNA, giving rise to mutations that lead to cancerous changes in the body.
  • Changes in Adipokine Profile: Adipokines are immune-modulatory proteins produced by adipose tissue. Obesity leads to elevated levels of pro-inflammatory adipokines and decreased levels of anti-inflammatory adipokines in the body, eventually resulting in inflammation that promotes cancerous changes.

Getting rid of those extra pounds

Here are a few tips that can help you effectively lose weight and bring down the risks of developing cancer, as suggested by experts from the best cancer specialist hospital in India.

  • Stay active and refrain from a sedentary lifestyle. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or 75 minutes of vigorous workouts in a week are enough to keep your weight in check.
  • Choose your meals wisely. A healthy and balanced meal is a crucial part of any weight-loss journey. Practise mindful eating habits and make sure you are not overeating or starving yourself.
  • Prioritise your sleep. Sleeping is the best way to help your body recover from regular wear and tear. It is important to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. Plan your routine in such a way that your sleeping hours are not compromised.
  • Give your body the rest it needs. Over-exerting yourself and not taking proper rest can lead to muscle fatigue and increase the risks of wear and tear and injuries. Just like your body, your mind needs rest too. Try relaxation and meditation techniques to release stress.

If you wish to know more about the link between cancer and obesity, consult the best cancer specialist in India today.

Dr. Vinay Kumar Shaw, Head of the Department and Senior Consultant

GI, General, Minimal Access and Bariatric Surgery

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