There are currently 12 obesity related cancers. These are meningioma, multiple myeloma, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and cancers of the thyroid, postmenopausal breast, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus, and colon and rectum (colorectal.)
Cancers not related to obesity and being overweight fell by 13%, but those that are related rose by 7% from 2005 to 2014. The rise in these cancers are threatening to reverse progress in reducing the rate of cancer in the U.S.
According to the report, which was released on October 3 by health officials, more than 630,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with a cancer linked with being overweight or obese in 2014.
Obesity related cancers accounted for about 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. in 2014, even though the overall rate of new cancer diagnoses has fallen since the 90s.
“Today’s report shows in some cancers we’re going in the wrong direction,” Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC said.
In 2013-14, about two or three U.S. adults were considered overweight or obese. The CDC researchers used the U.S. cancer statistics database to see how obesity was affecting cancer rates. Every cancer mentioned above rose from 2005 to 2012, except for colorectal cancer, which fell by 23% due to increases in screening.
According to Schuchat, about half of Americans are not aware of the link between obesity/being overweight and certain cancers.
This means that U.S. health professionals need to stress now more than ever that there is a definitive link between obesity and cancer, and encourage their patients to achieve their healthy weight.
Schuchat continued, “The trends we are reporting today are concerning. There are many good reasons to strive for a healthy weight. Now you can add cancer to the list.”
However, she did say that it is not clear whether losing weight will help individuals once cancer has taken root.
What is clear is that obesity can raise an individual’s risk of cancer, and that risk may be reduced by maintaining a healthy weight.