Obesity-Related Cancers Increasing in the US

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A new government report finds that overweight- and obesity-related cancers account for approximately 40 percent of all cancers in the US and the incidence of almost all obesity-related cancers is rising. The report, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggest a troubling trend that mirrors the increasing US obesity rates in recent decades.

AICR research shows that overweight and obesity is a cause of many common cancers.

“We know that obesity has increased, now we are seeing an increase in cancers that are associated with obesity – and a decline in those not associated with obesity,” said Nigel Brockton, PhD, AICR’s Director of Research.

Aside from not smoking, staying a healthy weight throughout life is the single most important lifestyle step to protect against cancer risk.  AICR estimates that if all adults in the US were a healthy weight, it could prevent approximately 132,800 new cases of cancer each year.

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    Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention

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    According to a recent study, fewer US adults with overweight or obesity are trying to lose weight in what is a concerning trend for cancer prevention. With obesity rates increasing and fewer at a healthy weight, more people will be at risk for several cancers such as post menopausal breast and colorectal, as well as other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

    In their analysis, researchers used data from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) from 1988 through 2014 to compare weight loss efforts over the past couple of decades. They found that the percent of Americans with overweight trying to lose weight dropped from 56% to 49% in the past 25 years. This drop occurred in nearly all gender and ethnic categories, but perhaps the most concerning decline was for black women. Almost 8 in 10 black women have overweight or obesity, but those trying to lose weight went from 65.5% to almost 55%. White women and men also showed drops in weight loss efforts.

    For cancer prevention, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is one of the most powerful lifestyle factors for lower risk. In those who already have overweight or obesity, we don’t know if losing weight will lower risk, though it seems to make sense. But we do know that losing weight will reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for some cancers, and it can reduce chronic inflammation and other markers for cancer risk. Read more… “Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention”

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      Advanced Prostate Cancers Rise, Reducing Your Risk

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      While US prostate cancer rates overall have stayed about the same over a decade, cases of the advanced and most deadly types of prostate cancers have steadily grown, finds a new study that highlights the need to focus on prevention. The study was published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.

      AICR’s recent report on prostate cancer found that being overweight or obese increases men’s risk for advanced cancers.

      Yesterday’s study found that new cases of men diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer rose 72 percent from 2004 to 2013. Metastatic cancers means they have spread beyond the prostate (or other site). These advanced cancers are often aggressive and deadly.

      Data Source: AB Weiner et al. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2016).

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