Expanding Waistlines May Contribute To Cancer Growth


More evidence of the link between obesity and cancer, and how fat tissue and related cells ‘feed’ tumour growth. Some links with specific cancers:

  • Prostate cancer – researchers from Duke University Medical Center explained at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting in 2011 that obese patients with prostate cancer have a considerably higher risk of the cancer growing and spreading, even if hormone therapy is administered.
  • Breast cancer – severely obese women have a 39% higher risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and a 35% greater risk of triple-negative breast cancer compared to women of the same age of normal weight, scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported in May 2011.
  • Ovarian cancer outcomes – obese women with ovarian cancer are more likely to die from the disease than ovarian cancer patients of normal weight, scientists from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced in August 2006. They added that fat cells excrete a hormone that encourages tumor growth.
  • Colorectal cancer – obesity raises the risk of developing colorectal cancer, the American College of Gastroenterology announced in March 2012.
  • Renal cell cancer – obesity may increase the risk of developing the most common form of renal cell cancer, researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York revealed in January 2010.

Expanding Waistlines May Contribute To Cancer Growth.


4 thoughts on “Expanding Waistlines May Contribute To Cancer Growth

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Ugh, sadly there’s nothing in this article that surprises me. You truly are what you eat…and I wish there was a way to slow the rapid growth of obesity. Sometimes I feel that obesity or overweight is controllable…I know in some cases it isn’t, but in others…it’s just so hard for me to see perfectly healthy people making any kind of conscious choice that negatively impacts their health. Whether it’s due to lack of education or an “it’ll never happen to me” attitude, I just want it to stop.



    • Nor me. While we have all the temptations around us, hard for some to change behaviour. I personally favour a mix of education (including strong labelling) as well as regulation (e.g., Bloomberg big gulp type of bans) to help ‘nudge’ people.

      • I do support regulation, but I truly do lean more towards the ‘teach a man to fish’ category…in terms of cost-benefits, which do you think might be cheaper yet still effective? Education or regulation? That’s a thinker! 🙂



      • Not to cop out, but I think a mixture of both is likely needed. I share the preference for education, but given advertising and other techniques to encourage excess, some measure of regulation can be helpful. Light touch regulation to ‘nudge’ behaviour, to use Thaler’s and Kahneman’s phrase. The campaign against tobacco used a mixture of both and likely offers some lessons (both positive and negative).

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