SYOSSET, NY – A recent study shows there is a link between obesity and cancer and a New York endocrinologist says those at the highest risk of getting cancer are those who have put on the most weight.
Although the exact link between obesity and cancer is unknown, Maria Pena, MD, endocrinologist and director of the Center for Weight Management at Syosset Hospital, says hormones that fat cells produce may increase someone’s cancer risk. For instance, fat cells create estrogen, which can lead to a higher risk of breast cancer in women. Fat also has markers of inflammation that can fuel cancer cells, Dr. Pena says.
“For every 30 to 40 pounds above their baseline weight, there is a higher risk [of cancer],” Dr. Pena says. “The more you weigh, the more at risk you are of getting cancer.”
Diet and exercise can help people not only lose the weight but also decrease their risk of cancer.