Cancers have always been linked to having excess weight or being obese by some health analysts and thought experts. A World Health Organization review by scientists reveal that the number of people who acquire the disease due to unhealthy risk factors and lifestyle is a thousand times higher than previously thought.
Doctors had previously believed that only 5 named cancers have being linked to excess weight, which are: bowel, kidney, womb, esophageal and breast cancer. About 20 years back, scientists realized that poor diets and unhealthy/sedentary lifestyle are associated with some types of cancer.
As at 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) made a list of five cancers likely to happen if someone was overweight. The same set of scientists, led by health experts at the Washington School of Medicine in St Louis, released a list adding a total of 13 more cancers linked to excess weight.
Sometimes back, doctors and health professionals, concluded that cancer was down to genetics. However, in recent times, more emphasis have being made on the fact that the risk could be reduced with a good, healthy lifestyle and habit.
These doctors were able to estimate that about 40 percent of cancer cases may be avoidable compared to 85-90 percent of some heart disease situations.
According to New England Journal of Medicine, a publication written by Dr Colditz, stated that “lifestyle factors such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, can have a great and significant impact on reducing the risks of cancer.
The cumulative result of the findings of these scientists reveal that obese individuals are 80 percent prone to having liver cancer than those of a healthy weight and about 400 percent more likely to acquire esophageal cancer if their BMI is actually 40 and above.
For real, this is a wake-up call for more public awareness and efforts to combat cancer and obesity in Nigeria.