Cancer tumors accumulate in younger overweight people

Cancer tumors accumulate in younger overweight people

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Obesity millennials are more likely to develop cancer

Obesity and obesity can make cancer more likely. Physicians have now found that cancer related to obesity is increasing faster among so-called millennials compared to older generations of people.

The American Cancer Society's scientists found in their current study that obese obese millennials are more likely to develop cancer than older people. The American experts published the results of their study in the English language journal "The Lancet Public Health".

More and more people suffer from being overweight or obese

A sharp rise in obesity in the past 40 years could have increased the risk of cancer in younger generations, the researchers suspect. This could have an adverse impact on recent advances in cancer treatment.

Millennials are particularly at risk

For their study, American Cancer Society doctors examined millions of health records from 1995 to 2014. In recent decades, there has been increasing evidence that certain types of cancer can be linked to obesity. The researchers found that the rate of six out of twelve cancers (colon, uterine, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and multiple myeloma) associated with obesity has risen sharply, especially among Americans under the age of 50. And among younger generations between the ages of 25 and 49, and especially among so-called millennials, they noticed a particularly high increase. Millennials (often referred to as Generation Y) are people who were born between the early 1980s and late 1990s.

Why do younger generations in particular have weight problems?

Experts say this trend is due to the rapid rise in obesity in recent decades, as younger generations worldwide are exposed to the dangers of extra weight earlier and for longer periods. The results reveal a change that should be understood as a warning of an increasing burden of obesity-related cancer in older adults, explains study author Dr. Ahmedin Jemal from the American Cancer Society. Most cancers only occur in older adults, which means that at this advanced age, obesity-related cancers and deaths will continue to increase among millennials, the expert adds.

Obesity does not necessarily lead to cancer

The results suggest that stricter epidemiological surveillance of cancer development in younger adults is needed. Obesity is of course only one factor, and the environment, genetics and other aspects can also play an important role. Not everyone who is diagnosed with certain types of cancer is overweight and not every person who is overweight is diagnosed with cancer.

Why does obesity increase the risk of cancer?

Fat cells help the body to store energy, but they are also able to send chemical signals to other parts of the body. These signals can cause cells to divide faster, which can result in cancer. In other words, fat cells form additional hormones and growth factors. These growth factors and hormones tell the body cells to divide faster. This increases the likelihood that cancer cells will be formed, and these can continue to divide and cause a tumor, the experts explain. (as)

Author and source information

Video: How does obesity cause cancer? Cancer Research UK (November 2022).