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Cancer Risk and Morbid Obesity

Morbid Obesity Associated With Cancer

Morbid or class-3 obesity is clearly associated with certain types of cancers. For example, if a woman is 20 pounds overweight before menopause, she has twice the normal risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. Also, nearly 50 percent of all breast cancer patients are obese.

Morbid Obesity and Cancer Survival

Cancer survival rates are lower among obese patients. The chances of dying from cancer are 1.5 times higher among obesity sufferers. According to a recent health study, morbidly obese patients (BMI 40+) had death rates from cancer that were 52 percent higher for men and 62 percent higher for women, than rates for normal weight counterparts.

Relationship of Body Mass Index and Specific Cancers

In both men and women, higher body mass index is associated with higher mortality rates from cancers of the esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and kidney. The same applies to cancers of the stomach and prostate in men, as well as cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, and ovaries in women.

Cancer Mortality Rates Among Morbidly Obese

Cancer mortality rates among morbidly obese males, compared to males of normal weight, are as follows: colorectum (1.7 times), and prostate (1.3 times). Cancer mortality rates are increased in morbidly obese females, compared to females of normal weight, are as follows: endometrium (5.4 times), gallbladder (3.6 times), uterine cervix (2.4 times), ovary (1.6 times), breast (1.5 times). Overall, men and women with severe clinical obesity have a 52-62 percent higher death rate from all cancers combined than do normal weight men and women.

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