Obese women have around a 40 per cent increased risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime than women of a healthy weight, according to a new study.
Obesity can increase a woman’s risk of developing at least seven types of cancer – including bowel, post-menopausal breast, gallbladder, womb, kidney, pancreatic and oesophageal cancer, researchers said.
According to new statistics released by Cancer Research UK, obese women have around a one in four risk of developing a cancer linked to weight in their lifetime.
In a group of 1,000 obese women, 274 will be diagnosed with a bodyweight-linked cancer in their lifetime, compared to 194 women diagnosed in a group of 1,000 healthy weight women, researchers said.
“Losing weight isn’t easy, but you don’t have to join a gym and run miles every day or give up your favourite food forever. Just making small changes that you can maintain in the long term can have a real impact,” said Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK.
“We know that our cancer risk depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and other aspects of our lives, many of which we can control – helping people understand how they can reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place remains crucial in tackling the disease.
“Lifestyle changes – like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on alcohol -are the big opportunities for us all to personally reduce our cancer risk. Making these changes is not a guarantee against cancer, but it stacks the odds in our favour,” Sharp said.