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Obesity Causes Cancer?

     Cancer is a complex disease with several precipitating factors, genetic predisposition being essential to trigger the disease, but several factors can influence for   that this predisposition develops cancer or remains silent throughout your life.

     The incidence of obesity has increased in recent decades. In 2007-2008, the prevalence of overweight/obesity in the USA reached 68% and obesity in 33.8% in adults. This level of obesity in epidemic proportions is not only found in developed countries, but also in developing countries, and Brazil is not out of this epidemic, according to a survey released by the Ministry of Health 52.5% of the Brazilian population above 18 years old is overweight (research   Vigitel 2014), with 17.9% obese.

     While there are several pathologies with a well-defined relationship   with obesity such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, the relationship between obesity and cancer is still being defined. Obesity and overweight constitute a worldwide problem reaching epidemic proportions and have an impact on the risk and prognosis of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the common forms of cancer.

     Cancer is currently the leading cause of death in developed countries and the second leading cause in developing countries, second only to cardiovascular disease. Several studies have shown a significantly increased risk of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma with increasing BMI (body mass index) in a dose-dependent manner, as well as an increased risk of pancreatic, prostate, breast, colon, endometrial, liver cancer , kidney, esophagus, gallbladder in obese adults.     Furthermore, as childhood obesity is on the rise and tends to continue into adulthood, the risk of cancer becomes even greater in this population. Although the association between cancer progression and its prognosis is well established, the link between obesity and cancer onset and its molecular mechanisms still need to be elucidated.


     Among all malignant tumors, obesity has been responsible for 52 and 88% higher mortality rates among men and women, respectively. It is believed that metabolic changes associated with excess weight, and in particular central obesity, could lead to dysfunctional adipose tissue, causing insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and abnormal adipocytokine secretion.

     in addition to exercising   pro-mitogenic and anti-apoptotic (increasing cell reproduction) effects on tumor cells, adipocytes serve as energy buffers, key to maintenance   of the nutritional system of cancer cells. cancer cells   they are metabolically very active and consume large amounts of energy to support their growth and survival.

     Not all adipose tissue predisposes to cancer, only dysfunctional adipose tissue and its development is complex and slow, due to a chronic consumption of calories above the necessary.

    Finally, in obesity, adipocytes undergo dramatic changes due to several metabolic adaptations that occur during adipose tissue hypertrophy. The reason for the increased tumor burden in obese patients is likely related to dysfunctional metabolic pathways prevalent in the tumor, which surrounds obese adipocytes.

     By keeping our weight controlled within the healthy range, we do reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer, weight control is not merely aesthetic, it is a matter of health.

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