(Image credit: Tobyotter @Flickr)
The American Institute for Cancer Research is currently holding their annual conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Acitity, and Cancer in Washington D.C. Yesterday AICR held a news conference and announced new estimates based on the work of their researchers - that excess body fat is responsible for 100,500 cancer cases in the U.S. each year.
100,500 – this equates to:
49% of endometrial cancers
35% of esophageal cancers
24% of kidney cancers
21% of gallbladder cancers
17% of breast cancers
9% of colorectal cancers
Also in this news conference, AICR expressed their concerns about the lack of public awareness about the link between obesity and cancer.
Scientists suggest that this link between obesity and cancer is due to excess fat increasing levels of sex steroids and other hormones that promote cancer growth. Also the reduced immune function and elevated oxidative stress associated with excess body fat may contribute to the initiation of cancer by damaging DNA.
AICR presented additional data showing that overweight and obesity also decrease rates of survival in those already diagnosed with cancer.
Overall, the message is that maintaining a healthy weight with nutritional excellence and exercise will dramatically (even more dramatically than previously thought) reduce your risk of cancer.