Could You Develop CANCER? #1 Sign You’re At Risk – Easy Tips & Tricks to Spot It

By on June 9, 2017
Where do you carry body fat? Knowing this could help determine your risk of cancer, claims a new study in the British Journal of Cancer.

Scientists at the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) recently conducted a study on over 40,000 obese patients for an average of 12 years–and found where they accumulated body fat mattered just as much as their body mass index, or BMI.

So what type of body fat is the most dangerous? According to them, it’s fat accumulated around the waistline.

“Our findings show that both BMI and where body fat is carried on the body can be good indicators of obesity-related cancer risk,” says Dr. Heinz Freisling, the study’s lead author and a IARC scientist. “Specifically, fat carried around the waist may be important for certain cancers, but requires further investigation. To better reflect the underlying biology at play, we think it’s important to study more than just BMI when looking at cancer risk.”

For the study, researchers collected data from over 43,000 participants who were overweight or obese, considered a risk factor for multiple types of cancers. Researchers followed them for an average of 12 years to see how many of them eventually developed an obesity-related cancer. This includes cancers such as:

  • Post-menopausal breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

During their investigation, they also measured where they accumulated the most body fat, something they hypothesized as a potential risk factor. They specifically identified anyone who collected more fat around their abdomen, called abdominal obesity. In previous research, abdominal obesity has been associated with multiple chronic diseases.

Comparing these sets of data, they found their hypothesis was true. Gaining around 4 inches of body fat around the waistline, they determined, increased the risk of obesity-related cancer by 13 percent. A 8 increase in hip width also raised the risk of bowel cancer by 15 percent. Researchers believe this occurred in both instances because excess body fat can influence levels of sex hormones, leading to body inflammation. This can lead to cancer.

Dr. Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, comments on the findings below:

“This study further highlights that however you measure it being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing certain cancers, including breast and bowel. It’s important that people are informed about ways to reduce their risk of cancer. And while there are no guarantees against the disease, keeping a healthy weight can help you stack the odds in your favour [sic] and has lots of other benefits too.”

As for what consumers can do to reduce their cancer risk, Sharp recommend small, sensible changes–such as gradually adding more healthy foods to your diet and picking an exercise routine you can maintain for the long term. Research also shows that these gradual changes are easy for most people to follow.

What This Means For You

It’s obvious at this point, but obesity just isn’t good for you–especially if you’re cursed with unsightly belly bulge. To minimize your risk, make small changes to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle, such as eating more vegetables and fruits and staying more physically active. While it won’t lead to drastic changes when you start, you’ll be able to maintain it longer.

Readers: Have you successfully lost weight before? Let us know your success stories below!

Where Body Fat is Carried Can Predict Cancer
Comparison of General Obesity and Measures of Body Fat Distribution in Adults in Relation to Cancer Risk (Study)

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