Being overweight almost doubles a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer, new research suggests.
A UK-funded cancer study has shown that for every five extra units of body mass index (BMI) – the equivalent of a 5-foot-5-inch adult woman weighing two stones – the risk increases by 88%.
Looking at 14 characteristic markers that may be linked to obesity and uterine cancer, they found two hormones – fasting insulin and testosterone – which increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with the condition.
By determining exactly how hormones can increase the risk, scientists could use drugs in the future to regulate the levels of these hormones in people who are already at high risk of developing cancer.
Emma Hazelwood, lead author of the article, said: “This study is the first exciting step in how genetic analysis can be used to find out exactly how obesity causes cancer and what can be done to overcome it.
The link between obesity and uterine cancer is well known, but it is one of the largest studies to investigate exactly why this is at the molecular level.
“We look forward to further research into how we can now use this information to reduce the risk of cancer in obese people.”
A peer-reviewed study from the University of Bristol, published in BMC Medicine, is one of the first of its kind to look at the highest lifelong effect. BMI At the risk of uterine cancer and not at the time frame.
Overweight or obesity is the second most preventable cause of cancer in the UK, with more than one in 20 cases likely to be the result.
Cervical cancer, which affects one in 36 women in the UK for life, is particularly closely linked to obesity, which accounts for about a third of all cases.
Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: “Similar studies confirm the fact that being overweight or obese is the second leading cause of cancer in the UK and can help us understand why.
“It will play a crucial role in identifying ways to prevent and treat cancer in the future.”
A BMI of 18 to 25 is considered healthy weight, 25 to 30 is overweight, and more than 30 is obesity.
A 2019 health survey in England found that 28% of adults were obese and 36% were overweight.
Being overweight almost doubles the risk of uterine cancer – a study
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