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According to the study, obesity-related cancers are increasing at an alarming rate, especially in young adults.

Obesity Can Cause Cancer in Adults

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Cancer among adults is rising in obesity patients according to a study published in the Lancet Public Health. This study was published on 3 February 2019.

This study was done on age-specific, related incidents consisting of 30 common cancers including 12 obesity-related cancers in the US. The people in the study were in the age group of 25-84 years and the study was done from the year 1995 to 2014.

The authors collected the information from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. The data covered consisted of 67% of the US population. According to the authors, this is the first study to examine trends for 18 common cancers and 12 obesity-related cancers in adults with nationally representative population-based data.

During the 20 year time period of the study, 14.7 million (1.47 crores) new cases of 30 cancers were registered. Cancer-related to smoking and HIV decreased. But for 6 of the 12 obesity-related cancer, the rates increased, especially in young adults.

The 6 obesity-related cancer included kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, colorectal, multiple myeloma and uterine corpus. Leukemia and gastric non-cardia cancer incidents increased in young adults and 8 of the 18 common cancers decreased related to smoking and HIV-infection cancers.

The rise in pancreatic cancer patients was 4.3% each year with people aged between 45-49 years. Whereas in kidney cancer patients the number increased by 6.23% in the age group of 25-29 years and about 3% in the people aged 45-49 years.

According to the study, obesity-related cancers is increasing in a manner which is alarming. This is especially occurring in young adults.

Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, senior author of the study and the scientific vice president of surveillance and health services research at the American Cancer Society said, “This finding signals an increased burden of obesity-related cancers in older adults in the future and calls for actions to mitigate this burden.”

Jemal also said, “Less than half of the primary care physicians regularly assess body mass index despite national screening recommendations. Further only a third of patients report receiving a diagnosis or weight loss counseling.”

John Jakicic, a professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania says, “The cancer-obesity issue is a really important topic because we’ve had an obesity crisis now for a number of decades.”

Jakicic also said, “Cancer prevention will most likely involve prevention of other things that might precipitate cancer. And while we don’t yet know exactly how obesity may be driving up cancer rates, it’s “critically important” to see observational studies that show an association between the two.”

According to Ahmedin Jemal, a restriction on advertisements related to unhealthy food could help reduce obesity. He also believes that more public campaigns should be done to promote a healthy lifestyle.

This study was done on a specific age group and thus the outcome is limited and might not be applicable to all.

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