Besides damaging blood vessels, research in the past decade has shown obesity also increases a person's risk of developing cancer. Obesity is a condition in which the body has an unhealthy proportion of excess fat. It interferes with various hormonal balance, bodily functions and can cause inflammation which increases a person's risk of developing degenerative diseases, especially cancer.
How can cancer occur due to obesity?
Cancer is a complex disease and is very influenced by many factors, and this is more likely if you are obese. Here are some mechanisms for cancer in the body of people who are obese:
- Excessive production of the hormone estrogen - obesity causes the production of excess estrogen which can trigger cancer, especially increasing the risk of breast cancer and uterine cancer in women.
- Triggering hyperinsulinemia - excessive insulin levels in the blood and insulin resistance are often found in obese individuals and this condition can trigger various cancer cells in certain organs.
- Triggering inflammation - fat cells can trigger the immune system to react to body tissues adjacent to fat cells. These reactions can trigger inflammation around organs that are close to fat cells and last for a long time and can develop into cancer cells.
- Stimulating the development of cancer cells - fat cells have a direct effect on the action of hormones and the compound hormone tumor growth factor in triggering cancer. Conversely hormones suppress the growth of abnormal cells such as adiponectin tend to be less in obese individuals.
Types of cancer that can be triggered by obesity
As previously explained, hormones and hormone compounds produced by fat cells tend to be excessive so that these hormones are channeled more throughout the body through the circulatory system. Excess hormones in the blood can trigger reactions in various organs and increase the risk of developing cancer.
Here are some types of cancer that are more likely to occur in obese individuals:
- Breast cancer - this is more likely to be experienced by women after entering menopause, where active cells produce excess estrogen hormone in obese women resulting in the growth of cancer cells.
- Endometrial cancer - in contrast to breast cancer in menopausal women, endometrial cancer has the same risk when women have not entered menopause. Endometrial cancer is more likely triggered by the presence of central obesity and uncontrolled state of blood sugar.
- Colorectal cancer - in men colorectal cancer is more common in individuals classified as obese based on body weight or BMI & gt; 27kg /m2. Whereas in women colorectal cancer is more due to central obesity or distended stomach condition. There is a hypothesis that abnormal insulin hormone production in obese individuals triggers colorectal cancer.
- Kidney cancer - twice the risk of kidney cancer in obese individuals. It is not known exactly how the effects of obesity on this cancer, but excessive insulin production in the blood of someone with obesity is likely to trigger the development of kidney cancer.
- Esophageal cancer - the development of cancer in the esophagus can be triggered by conditions of reflux in the esophagus and cause the development of one form of adenocarcinoma cancer cells. Reflux conditions are more likely to be experienced by obese individuals and cause more severe inflammation.
Cancer that is triggered by obesity tends to occur in organs adjacent to the stomach where there is the most accumulation of fat in individuals with central obesity. Besides the types of cancer above obesity is also associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer, gallbladder and thyroid but it is not known exactly how the mechanism.
The type of cancer that is triggered by obesity depends on sex
Basically male and female individuals who are obese also have different cancer risk factors such as lifestyle and hormonal factors. In one study obese men were more likely to experience colorectal, prostate and lung cancer. While other studies show obese women who have menopause are more likely to experience endometrial, kidney, and breast cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute there are three cancers that most often occur in obese individuals including colorectal, breast and endometrial cancer. Two of the three types of cancer are experienced by women and tend to be related to the hormone estrogen.
Can losing weight and maintaining an ideal body weight reduce cancer risk?
Basically maintaining an ideal body weight is the most important thing in preventing the development of various degenerative diseases. Do not know exactly how weight loss prevents cancer, but maintaining an ideal body weight is proven to prevent cancer. A study in Canada showed adults with a drastic increase in body weight were more at risk of developing cancer by 60% than someone with an increase in body weight around 1-5 kg in adulthood. Besides preventing obesity, maintaining an ideal body weight with a healthy diet and regular physical activity can also help maintain endurance and prevent inflammation that can trigger the development of cancer cells.
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