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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

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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A Protein That Can Stop Cancer?

The research showed that LHPP emerged as the top favourite. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered a protein that prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver.

The anti-cancer protein, called LHPP, can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer, said the study published in the journal Nature.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is usually diagnosed at a very late stage when the liver is already severely damaged and hence overall prognosis is poor.

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The researchers believe that detection of the anti-cancer protein LHPP as a biomarker may allow clinicians to provide better treatment options.

“It is striking that LHPP is present in healthy tissue and completely absent in tumour tissue,” said first author Sravanth Hindupur from University of Basel in Switzerland. Pixabay


In the study conducted in a mouse model for hepatocellular carcinoma, the researchers analyzed a total of more than 4,000 proteins, comparing them in healthy and tumour tissue.

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Re-introduction of the genetic information for LHPP by the researchers was found to prevent the formation of tumours and maintain liver function.

“Similar to the mouse model, we also saw a striking decrease in LHPP levels in tumours of patients with liver cancer,” Hindupur said. (IANS)

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