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Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study

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India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay
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New Delhi, April 20, 2017: Obesity leads to 13 types of cancer, including that of pancreas and esophagus, as fat cells affect the processes that regulate the growth of cancer cells in the human body, says a study.

Due to excess fat in the body, fat cells produce hormones and proteins, according to the study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Imperial College.

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Besides being released into the bloodstream, these are also circulated around the body and this is why they increase the risk of several different types of cancer.

Fat cells are also said to affect processes that regulate cancer cells’ growth.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight or obese, and with obesity linked to some 13 types of cancer, the problem of extra weight poses a serious threat to their lives.

Among the 13 types of cancer, which are believed to have strong connection with weight gain, are oesophageal (food pipe), pancreatic, liver, stomach, colon and rectum, gallbladder, lung, kidney and gynaecological cancer. Among women, breast, ovary or uterus cancer could occur.

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“The most common types include breast and colon, while the most difficult to treat include pancreatic, oesophageal and gallbladder cancer,” said the study.

Commenting on the study, Deep Goel, Director of Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Oncology Surgery at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said that obese had a greater risk of developing and also dying from several types of cancer.

“Let’s say, if there’s one normal-weight patient suffering from pancreatic cancer and another obese patient suffering from the same cancer of same stage, chances of an obese patient’s death are more over normal-weight patient,” said Goyal.

Stating that insulin is a very important part of how the body uses energy from food, Goyal said: “When people are obese, the level of insulin increases in the body which may help cancer cells to develop. Moreover, fat accumulated in the body changes the levels of sex hormones — oestrogen and testosterone, which again increases the risk of cancer.” (IANS)

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Girls may inherit ovarian cancer gene from fathers

The researchers collected information about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers and sequenced portions of the X-chromosome from 186 women affected by cancer

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A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer's age of onset by more than six years. Wikimedia Commons
A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer's age of onset by more than six years. Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have found a gene responsible for ovarian cancer that can be passed down from fathers to their daughters.

The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls.

A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer’s age of onset by more than six years.

“Our study may explain why we find families with multiple affected daughters: because a dad’s chromosomes determine the sex of his children, all of his daughters have to carry the same X-chromosome genes,” said Kevin H.

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Eng, Assistant Professor at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Buffalo, the US.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, stated that the genetic mutation inherited from the paternal grandmothers were also associated with higher rates of prostate cancer in fathers and sons as well.

The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons
The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons

The researchers collected information about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers and sequenced portions of the X-chromosome from 186 women affected by cancer.

The results proposed that a gene on the X-chromosome may contribute to a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, independently of other known susceptibility genes, such as the BRCA genes.

This observation suggests that there may be many cases of seemingly sporadic ovarian cancer that are actually inherited, and may lead to improved cancer screening and better genetic risk assessment.

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However, future studies will be needed to confirm the identity and function of this gene.

“What we have to do next is make sure we have the right gene by sequencing more families. This finding has sparked a lot of discussion within our group about how to find these X-linked families,” Eng said.

“It’s an all-or-none kind of pattern: A family with three daughters who all have ovarian cancer is more likely to be driven by inherited X mutations than by BRCA mutations,” Eng noted. (IANS)

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