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How Weight Affects Cancer
Obesity and Overweight Can Stimulate Tumor Growth
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Affects of Weight on Cancer

Being overweight increases blood levels of certain hormones and proteins, such as estrogen and insulin, which can stimulate tumors. Weight affects the risk of cancers in organs, such as the esophagus, colon, liver and gallbladder, as well as gender-specific sites such as the breast, ovaries, cervix in women and the prostate gland in men.

In a recent study, Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and his colleagues looked at the link between body mass index - a ratio of height and weight - and colon cancer in 3,759 men and women who'd been diagnosed with the disease. Obese women - those with a BMI was at least 30 - were about a third more likely than their normal-weight peers to die within roughly nine years of starting the study. But weight wasn't a factor in survival or return tumors for men, the researchers found.

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