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October 23, 2019 • Cancer Prevention

Lower Your Cancer Risk by Maintaining a Healthy Weight

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Your weight status in young adulthood appears to have a significant influence on your future risk of several major cancers. That was the conclusion of an illuminating, new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
For this study, scientists followed the body weight (BMI) and cancer status of over 220,000 adults for an average period of 18 years. Study subjects that were obese (BMI 30 or greater) from the start of the study and remained obese had the highest risk of developing cancer. Male study subjects obese from the outset were 64% more likely to develop future cancer, and females were 48% more likely. Lesser degrees of overweight were also tied to a greater risk of developing cancer.
More specifically, the data revealed that if you were overweight (BMI over 25) before the age of 40, the risk of getting a future cancer increased as follows:
·      70% for uterine cancer
·      58% for kidney (renal cell) cancer in males
·      29% for colon cancer in males
·      15% for all weight-related cancers in both sexes
Lastly, the study also showed that gaining weight over time, regardless of beginning weight status, also upped future cancer risk. Bottom line: keeping your weight in the normal range, and avoiding weight gain (even small amounts!) over adulthood is a key strategy for reducing your risk of cancer.
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