American Association for Cancer Research Links Cancer and Obesity

Dr. Frank Varon Health Pro
  • At the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the results of cancer research studying the influence of obesity and diabetes on certain specific cancers were presented. Some of the research results are presented below:

    • Women with diabetes were 1.5 times more likely to develop colon cancer versus those women without metabolic syndrome
    • Women with invasive breast cancer and high levels of C-peptide (marker of insulin secretion) have a death rate nearly three times higher than those women with lower levels of C-peptide. Previous laboratory research has shown that insulin stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells. C-peptide and most likely insulin is a marker of breast cancer prognosis
    • Studies have consistently shown that men with diabetes are at lower risk for developing prostate cancer than men who don't have diabetes. The reasons for this are unclear but researchers theorize that lower testosterone levels associated with diabetes in men might be a reason. In addition, men with higher C-peptide levels were half as likely to develop metastatic prostate cancer.
    • An increase in weight in women following diagnosis of invasive breast cancer increases the risk of death by more that half. Researchers also found that weight gain was associated with an increased risk of death from all causes in women, not just breast cancer. For women who are obese, the risk of dying from breast cancer was nearly 2.5 times that of non-obese women.

    While this author has presented this theme previously, it cannot be overemphasized that those people who are obese or have diabetes cannot forget that they are at increased risk for cancer. Managing your diet to manage weight cannot be overemphasized as well as achieving medical goals for managing your diabetes to reduce that risk. In addition, regular physicals can identify these cancers early enough to ensure better improved survival.

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    Resource: American Association for Cancer Research, Sixth Annual Conference on Cancer Prevention Research

Published On: December 12, 2007