Obesity May Lead to Colon Cancer

Christina Dodd 

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer to affect people across the globe these days and it kills 655,000 people worldwide on a yearly basis. 120,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year with 55,000 people dying in the country each year after suffering a battle with colon cancer. Colon cancer can be detected via a colon x-ray, a colonoscopy, or a fecal occult blood test. Colon cancer can be treated via surgery, the prescribing of medication, or chemotherapy. Colon cancer, as with a variety of other cancers, can be treated by the patient simply losing weight. According to the Associated Press, the leading cause of cancer these days is obesity. In one in 12 new studies about the causes of cancer it has been found that cancer was directly caused by excessive weight. European scientists claim that obesity currently accounts for 8 percent of cancers on their continent.

“Obesity is catching up at a rate that makes it possible; it could become the biggest attributable cause of cancer in women within the next decade,” said Andrew Renehan. Renehan is a University of Manchester cancer specialist. Studies also show that being obese causes 15 percent of cancer fatalities in men and 20 percent of cancer fatalities in women. The National Cancer Institute also claims that the most common adult cancers, such as colon cancer, might be linked to obesity and the lack of exercise by the patient diagnosed with the cancer. So, if you are overweight you should consider changing your eating habits and beginning an exercise program to begin losing weight to prevent the onset of cancer. It is not guaranteed that every person who is overweight will develop cancer but 41,000 new cancer cases in the United States in 2002 were caused by obesity, which means that 3.2 percent of all new cases were caused by the patient being overweight.

It has been found that cancer occurs more often in people who are obese than in those who are of a normal weight. Men with high BMIs have a higher risk of developing colon cancer but the correlation between BMI and the risk in women for developing colon cancer was found to be weaker, if not absent entirely. Doctors feel that estrogen tends to be protective against colon cancer in the woman’s body. On the other side of things though it has been found that women with a high BMI and who are taking estrogen while either being premenopausal or postmenopausal have an increased risk of developing colon cancer. However, women who have a high BMI and are postmenopausal but are not taking estrogen do not have a high risk of developing colon cancer. It is also thought that the risk of colon cancer can be increased in men if they have too much weight in the abdominal area. In women, fat appears on their body on the thighs, hips, and buttocks, making it less of a risk to develop colon cancer based on being overweight.