Obesity and Cancer

Obesity and Cancer

Making moderate to vigorous physical activity a part of your lifestyle lowers your risk of cancer and that of other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Moderate to vigorous physical activity is exercise that makes you sweat and your heart beat faster. It includes walking, swimming, cycling, or running. Research suggests that doing any kind of activity to avoid too much sitting can help lower cancer risk.

  • Extra weight raises your levels of the hormones insulin and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Too much of this hormone can help some cancers develop.
  • Fat tissue also produces more of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen can help some cancers, like breast cancer, develop.
  • Chronic, low-level inflammation is more common in people who are obese (particularly if they have more belly fat) and that is linked with an increased cancer risk.
  • Fat cells affect the way your body regulates cancer cell growth.

The Following Types Of Cancer Have Been Linked To Being Overweight Or Obese:

  • Breast cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Esophageal cancer

Maintain Your Weight

Even light activity can provide some health benefits. Set a goal to do 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Physical activity can be moderate or intense as per your body needs. Take a brisk walk, join an exercise class, or go for a run. If you cannot get 30 to 60 minutes, do what you can. Even a few extra minutes a day lowers your cancer risk.