Obesity, Cancer – and Millenials
Conditions such as diabetes and heart disease have been associated with obesity for a long time. Surprisingly, Cancer hasn’t received as much attention in its connection to obesity, even though it happens to be one of the most common causes of death in the United States. Scientific research has already proven there is a link between obesity and cancer, however, many do not realize that there is a noticeable rise in cancer-related obesity in young people. It is sobering to learn that recent scientific discoveries have proven the existing relationship between obesity and cancer in millenials.
Obesity & Millennials
Although the link between cancer and obesity isn’t precisely known, theories suggest specific cancer cells form due to the inflammation caused by excessive weight. Since the estrogen produced by fat tissue can fuel cancer growth, obesity can be a factor in creating certain cancer types. Alarmingly, diagnoses for cancers including colorectal, kidney, and pancreatic cancer in younger adults are increasing with each new generation. In addition, a study by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) has shown that “the rate of increases for developing 6 obesity-linked cancers was faster in younger adults than in those older than age 50. These 6 cancers were of the kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, endometrium, and colon or rectum, as well as multiple myeloma”.
12 Obesity Related Types of Cancer
There are currently twelve known obesity-related cancers, and research indicates that cases for six of them are rising in young adults at an alarming rate.
- Endometrial cancer. This type of cancer develops in the lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium. The disease occurs when the cells within it become malignant. Women who are overweight are twice or even four times more likely to develop endometrial cancer. There are two reasons why this happens. First, the tumor grows with the help of estrogen since hormones created by fat cells promote inflammation. Second, there is an active link between various cancers and insulin resistance, which is associated with obesity.
- Breast cancer. Women who are excessive weight are at a higher risk to develop breast cancer. Younger adult women needn’t worry as much because this is only after menopause, however, younger male adults should be more concerned. Despite all assumptions to the contrary, obesity increases the chances for overweight men to have breast cancer. Fat tissue in men produces the same estrogen fatty tissue that can create certain breast cancers, and extra estrogen means a higher potential for the disease.
- Colon cancer. Interchangeably used with the term colorectal cancer, colon cancer is on the rise in millennials. Evidence shows obesity to be linked closer to colon cancer more than other obesity-related diseases. The research cites insulin resistance as the cause of colorectal cancer. When the body does not recognize the provided insulin, this causes blood sugar to elevate. Low blood sugar contributes to colon cancer in this sense, and overweight individuals are more likely to be insulin resistant.
- Pancreatic cancer. As with colon cancer, cancer of the pancreas is an issue of insulin levels. The pancreas is the organ responsible for creating insulin. If the pancreas cannot produce proper insulin levels, then this could lead to cancer. Studies show that young adults who are obese are 20% to 50% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
- Gallbladder cancer. The gallbladder is an organ located near the liver. It is the primary organ for food digestion because it produces bile for the process. Hardened fluid deposits called gallstones build up in the gallbladder. Millennials who have a history of gallstones are most at risk of getting gallbladder cancer, and obese adults are 60% more likely to develop the disease.
- Kidney cancer. The particular variation of kidney cancer involved with obesity is called renal cell cancer. It is almost twice as likely to develop in people with excessive weight. The estrogen produced by fat tissue can create and fuel cancer cells, and fat tissue surrounds the kidneys. Inflammation of fatty tissue also allows the growth of cancer cells. Like with other obesity-related cancers, insulin resistance may also contribute to renal cell cancer. Overweight people with diabetes should also be concerned because this disease significantly reduces their insulin levels.
- Multiple myeloma. Plasma cells in the bone marrow are affected by multiple myeloma. This blood cancer is 10% to 20% more likely to occur in obese adults. It develops as fat cells in bone marrow promote inflammation in plasma cells within the blood. As a result, multiple myeloma grows in the bone marrow.
Obesity has been a devastating epidemic in the United States, and it continues to be an ongoing problem with young adults. With the rise in obesity-related cancers in millennials, it is evident that these rates will only continue to increase as they age if no action is taken to reverse the course.
The Bariatric Experts Weight Loss Specialists
The Bariatric Experts is located in Denton Texas, convenient to people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as easily accessible to those in West, East and Central Texas. Dr. Scott Stowers has been performing medical services in Texas for more than twenty years and is board certified. His stellar credentials include being a Fellow of the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. He uses the most advanced, minimally invasive procedures to ensure his patients recover fast and endure less risk during the surgery and healing processes. The majority of his patients are referrals from prior bariatric patients, a testament to his knowledge and skill as a surgeon. If you are considering Bariatric Surgery, do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We have financing options and offer assistance in navigating the insurance processes.