Obesity and colon cancer

The risk of developing colon cancer among obese persons has been observed to be higher in comparison to persons with healthy weight. Colon cancer unlike breast cancer is more common in obese men than in women. For men who have a high BMI, the likelihood of developing colon cancer increases. It is noted that most of these men have fat distribution around the abdomen. The fact that most obese women will have their fat distribution around the hips and lower extremities than in the abdomen may be a cause for the reduced colon cancer risk.

The high risk of colon cancer in obese individual is said to be mainly due to increased levels of insulin in obese persons which exacerbate tumor development (National Cancer Institute, 2004). Conclusion Being obese no doubt puts women at a higher risk of breast cancer whereas obese men have a higher risk of colon cancer than women. Hormonal changes (increase in estrogens for breast cancer and increase in insulin in colon cancer) have a higher role in development of malignant tumors.

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Reference Friedenreich, C. M. (2001). Review of anthropometric factors and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 10(1):15–32. Menifield, C. E. , Doty, N. and Fletcher, A. (2008). Obesity in America. The ABNF Journal, Summer: 83-87. National Cancer Institute. (2004). Obesity and cancer: questions and answers. Retrieved 21, May 2010 from http://www. cancer. gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity

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