Weight Loss News and Current Events - Obesity causes cancer

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Suzanne 3FC
11-06-2009, 11:11 AM
(CNN) -- More than 100,000 cases of cancer each year are caused by excess body fat, according to a report released Thursday in Washington.


"This is the first time that we've put real, quantifiable case numbers on obesity-related cancers," said Glen Weldon, the American Institute for Cancer Research educational director.

Read the entire article at http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/05/obesity.cancer.link/index.html

Shannon in ATL
11-06-2009, 12:04 PM

I also saw one yesterday linking obesity to H1N1 complications.

11-06-2009, 01:31 PM
Makes me wonder about the impact news like this will have on health insurance eligibility/premium costs for those which BMI's over the "norm".

11-06-2009, 08:27 PM
I'm more about aesthetics than the health of my body, sadly! I do want to lose weight so I can be healthy but the lure of new clothes, a fine a-s body is what's keeping me hanging on.

11-08-2009, 12:32 AM
I think all this is a bunch of bunk!!! If you add up all the people who have cancer, who also happen to be overweight or obese ... then they say there is a co-relation ... oh phooey; this is just an excuse to get on people's back about being fat -- and it is nothing more than political propaganda! Here we go people: this is just the next great media obsession now that the ciggie thing is old hat ...

11-08-2009, 01:32 AM
It's not really anything new. The report (http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/)linking obesity (among *many*) other things was published in 2007. This report is over 500 pages long. One thing they did was estimate the percentage of various cancers attributable to many factors, not just obesity.

The report (http://www.aicr.org/site/News2/1726527726?abbr=pr_&page=NewsArticle&id=17333&news_iv_ctrl=1102)referenced in the article in the OP just took the percentages published in the 2007 report and multiply them by current estimates of the incidence of these diseases. For example (totally made up), 100 new case of breast cancer per year times 20% attributable to obesity = 20 annual cases of breast cancer per year due to obesity.

It should be data the insurance companies were already well aware of.

And while I am sure not all of their estimates are completely accurate, to take a very detailed report and call it bunk, sight unseen, is a bit much.

11-08-2009, 08:30 PM
I was actually watching CNN when they broadcast this story & it caught my attention; I had heard references to this in years past as well, but I did think it was the first time they associated percentages to the various kinds. They say it's due in big part to fat cells holding/releasing estrogen.

Has anyone seen any research about what happens during weight loss when fat cells shrink/or are released? Does that also flood the body with estrogen, or is there no relationship to utlizing the fat in a fat cell with a release? If there is an impact, the next good research would be into those who lose/regain/lose/regain and are we reflooding our systems with excessive estrogen each time we lose. ugh

12-12-2009, 06:49 PM
I definitely don't look at it like "Fat people WILL get cancer and DIE", more like, "People who are overweight or obese have more susceptibility to getting cancer because there will be more room on their bodies for cancerous cells to accumulate".

Thighs Be Gone
12-12-2009, 06:55 PM
Maybe in addition to there being more room for the cancer to occur, obese people are more likely to consume carcinogens in one form or another?

12-12-2009, 07:04 PM
There are a lot of factors that are responsible for the link between obesity and cancer, saying that cancer is caused by obesity is an incomplete and misleading statement.

There are many inter-related links to cancer. For example there's also a similar link between poverty and cancer, but poverty (in and of itself) does not cause cancer (if you lose all your money, you don't suddenly get a tumor).

Poverty itself is similarly linked to obesity (again poverty doesn't cause obesity directly, either - but it certainly increases not only the risk of obesity and cancer - because of the many other factors associated with poverty - but also the risk of dying from cancer and obesity-related illnesses).

But, unfortunately as consumers of media - people prefer there news to come in soundbites and simple statements. The perception is (and often the reality is too) that no one wants to listen to hours and hours of fact-based information on the factors contributing to cancer or other illnesses, we want a simple, easy-to-remember maxim - "obesity causes cancer," fits the bill.

"Poverty causes cancer," or "Poverty causes obesity," or "Poverty prevents people from seeking treatment for cancer (or obesity),"

are all just as "true" and just as "untrue," as well - but they don't have the same "blame factor."

"Hey you - stop being poor, don't you know it's not good for you?" isn't really a message people are as comfortable with as "Hey you - stop being fat..."

Both may be equally in (and out) of people's control. It can be about as easy to lose weight as to "just get a job."

In the U.S. (and in other countries with a growing obese-poor population),
If you're wealthy and fat - even very fat, your life expectancy is only a few years before the average. You may lose as little as 3 years (by some study estimates). However, if you're poor - and most especially poor AND fat, and most especially poor and VERY FAT, your life expectancy is much mor impacted (in some studies by more than a decade - and the odds of dying before the end of middle age is far higher among the poor and obese).

But, simple plattitudes about complicated problems make everyone much happier than the complicated truth right?

12-13-2009, 02:58 PM
Is it just me, or is kaplods just this infinite fountain of knowledge and wisdom in each and every post? lol

12-15-2009, 10:47 PM
No it's not just you. Kapoids brings it on every post.

12-15-2009, 11:29 PM
You know, with comments like these, I can feel my head swelling (at least it's only my head).

I wish the application of the information and wisdom came as easily.

12-16-2009, 04:58 PM
I agree with Kaplods, but also - its harder for your body to function when you're "obese" and this can lead to more mutations and the body's inability to fight off abnormal tumor growth - which would then lead to cancer.

Everyone has abnormal growth of cells in their body, but its up to your immune system and its functioning to fight that off. When it can't fight it off you have uncontrolled, abnormal growth = cancer. This can be linked to the fact that there are extra fat cells or the fact that maybe these people aren't getting the nutrition they need to feed their immune system.

You could say the same thing about poverty - people who are poor often do not have access to good food that would help their immune systems - so they're more susceptible to cancers. The non-poor also have access to (better) health care which can head up a lot of these problems before they overly develop.

The point is - I agree its not a simple cause-effect relationship and the media should not bill it so, but I could understand how being obese could be "linked" with cancer.

12-17-2009, 03:01 AM
There are so many factors. I remember in graduate school for a papaer, I did research on access and use of medical care.

Poverty obesity and education also have another link, in terms of medical care.

Less educated, lower income, and the obese are all less likely to access medical care (even when it is available at reduced cost, or even free).

Many cancers have precancerous conditions that never become cancer if treated early enough. Folks who are avoiding preventive care, and only go in for medical treatment in emergencies are at higher risk for many diseases including cancer.

Even obese people with higher incomes and excellent medical coverage are significantly more likely than average weight peers to avoid physicals and preventive care because of their (sometimes justified) fears of being shamed or embarassed by unsympathetic (or tactless) medical staff.

The social stigma can also keep obese folks from exercising as much or even more than their physical limitations (It's easier to be active, when you aren't afraid to venture out into the world - agoraphobia is much more prevalent among overweight individuals).

Just so many factors both physiological and social.

12-20-2009, 01:45 AM
I am a breast cancer survivor. While undergoing 6 weeks of radiation, I can honestly say that the majority of women undergoing radiation the same time as me, were predominately thin. Cancer does not discriminate. Fat or thin, we all seem to be at risk.

12-23-2009, 08:31 AM
Even obese people with higher incomes and excellent medical coverage are significantly more likely than average weight peers to avoid physicals and preventive care because of their (sometimes justified) fears of being shamed or embarassed by unsympathetic (or tactless) medical staff.

Hand waving in the air...you just described me to a tee.

I avoided going to the doctor for years, using the excuse that I wanted to "get my weight off" before going. Of course it didn't come off, and then I found myself with high blood pressure and a whole host of other ailments, mostly as the result of my weight.

It was ridiculous...here we were paying premiums every month for excellent medical care and not only was I not using it to even get routine checkups and having regular screenings such as pap smears, mammograms, etc but I let it go so far as to develop hypertension and pre-diabetic glucose readings, all because I didn't want to go step on that scale.

Fortunately I came to my senses eventually and got myself there. Had the mammogram which was long overdue (and how stupid was I not to have one?...my mother died of breast cancer) along with the other standard screenings, plus a few extra for good measure. It was an ultrasound looking at my gall bladder that detected what turned out to be a benign tumor on my kidney, something that isn't currently posing a problem but needs to be monitored for growth, as it can rupture and hemorrhage.

But the very best part about going was discovering a sympathetic doctor who didn't chastise me for my weight nor did she criticize me for waiting so long. Instead she set about the business of helping me get myself back on track, a venture in which I am a willing partner. And I am so grateful to her for that.

And kaplods, your previous post explaining how simple platitudes are often used to cover complicated problems was EXCELLENT. I couldn't have said it better myself - otherwise I would have! :)

12-23-2009, 12:48 PM
So yes, you could say that obesity is linked to cancer, but is that because the high levels of fat the body is storing are holding high levels of toxins?

I think a lot of things are due to a complex set of interactions like this, which is what makes studies that try to reduce it to one thing often frustrating at best, and completely misleading at worst.

They like to say how miniscule this or that risk from chemicals are, but the big, white elephant in the room is that we're exposed to many thousands of these things.

12-23-2009, 04:58 PM
The chemicals (and plastics) enter our bodies and bind with body fat. So the more body fat we are carrying potentially the more pollution and toxins we store.

This is very true, but the toxins aren't released into your system UNTIL they un-bind with the fat - ie losing a lot of fat very quickly.

Cancer does effect the obese and the thin, but its not a random disease.