Obesity Competing With Smoking As A Cause Of Cancer

By CodeBlue | 04 July 2019

Risk becomes higher the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight.

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Cancer Research UK warns that certain kinds of cancers are now more likely to have been caused by obesity than by smoking tobacco.

It has identified 13 types where being obese is responsible for more cases than cigarettes. These included bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancers.

The leading cancer charity stated that though smoking is still the largest cause of cancer, it noted that people who are obese currently outnumbered smokers two to one.

It said that there were now 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer linked back to excess weight than smoking in the UK annually. Similarly there were also 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer, 460 more ovarian cancers and 180 more cases of liver cancer each year.

Being overweight or obese does not mean a person will definitely develop cancer. However, it does increase their risk.

For these cancers, according to Cancer Research UK’s analysis, being overweight or obese is the leading cause and not smoking.

Figures released by Public Health England showed an ongoing decline in smoking in the UK. There has been a big reduction in the overall smoking rate to 14.7 per cent last year, down five percentage points from 2011.

However, across the country, almost a third of the adult population were classified as obese in 2016. 40 percent of men and a third of women were overweight.

Cancer Research UK’s new campaign visuals. Source: Cancer Research UK’s website

Michelle Mitchell, the Cancer Research UK’s chief executive said in its statement: “As smoking rates fall and obesity rates rise, we can clearly see the impact on a national health crisis when the government puts policies in place – and when it puts its head in the sand.

“Our children could be a smoke-free generation, but we’ve hit a devastating record high for childhood obesity, and now we need urgent government intervention to end the epidemic. They still have a chance to save lives.”

Being overweight or obese does not mean a person will definitely develop cancer. However, it does increase their risk.

The risk becomes higher the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight.

According to Cancer Research UK, the 13 different cancers linked to obesity are breast (in menopausal women); bowel; pancreatic; oesophageal; liver; kidney; upper stomach; gallbladder; womb; ovarian; thyroid; multiple myeloma (blood cancer); and meningioma (brain cancer).

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