Obesity tied to rise in cancer rate

The evidence continues to mount: Rising obesity rates in the United States are leading to a rise in obesity-related cancers, including colon cancer.

When smoking was directly linked to lung cancer, many smokers took the necessary steps to beat their addiction. They recognized the risk and did what was needed to minimize it. It’s interesting now to look back at old cigarette ads touting the benefits of smoking, and TV shows that showed even doctors chain-smoking.

Perhaps 20 years from now people will look back at ads and shows featuring fat- and sugar-laden, unhealthy foods and shake their heads. If you’re overweight or obese, those extra pounds are affecting much more than how you look – and could have deadly consequences, just like a cigarette.

Based on the findings of multiple studies, the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, International Agency for Research on Cancer and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, agree that higher amounts of body fat cause an increased risk of several cancers.

Sadly, obesity is at epidemic proportions in this country, and it’s affecting our efforts to battle cancer.

Consider these statistics:

  • According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 70 percent of adults over 20 are overweight or obese.
  • In 2012, approximately 4 percent of new cancer cases in men and 10 percent in women were attributed to being overweight or obese.
  • In 2014, obesity-related cancers accounted for about 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States.
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in 2014 more than 630,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with a cancer linked with being overweight or obese.
  • From 2005-2012, cancers not associated with overweight and obesity fell by 13 percent.
  • During the same time frame – thanks to early detection through widespread screening – colorectal cancer rates fell by 23 percent.

As we gain ground against colon and other cancers through early detection, we are losing it just as fast because of the steadily rising rates of overweight and obese Americans.

Now is the time to act. Just as many longtime smokers extinguished their cigarettes because of the proven health risk, individuals carrying extra pounds need to drop the weight.

Make the commitment today to embrace a healthy diet and work toward maintaining a healthy weight. It could save your life.

If you are experiencing troubling digestive symptoms or if you are age 50 or older and have never had a colonoscopy, I encourage you to contact your GIA physician today to schedule an appointment. If you are interested in losing weight, you may benefit from GIA 180, our personalized approach to weight loss.

Make plans today to talk to your GIA doctor. Call 865-588-5121.