Early Obesity Could Raise Colon Cancer Risk in Men

Gaining a better understanding of colorectal cancer risks has been the focus of much study in recent years. With an estimated 93,000 new cases of colon cancer and nearly 40,000 new case of rectal cancer diagnosed just in the United States annually, gaining a better handle on reducing risks is important. Researchers in Sweden may have found a new link to the disease that could be used to predict risks for men in mid-life.

The study focused in on a group of adolescent males followed through the course of 35 years. Men who had higher BMIs in their adolescent years had a 2.38-fold higher risk of developing colon cancer by mid-life, the study found. In addition, adolescent males with a high erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which is associated with inflammation, were also found to have a 63 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer in later years.

The study itself involved nearly 240,000 subjects. The median age at the start of the study was 18.5 years. Of this group, about 885 men had diagnoses of colorectal cancer over the 35 years of follow ups. Some 501 diagnoses of colon cancer were received with 384 diagnoses of rectal cancer.

While more study is required to determine the exact link between obesity and inflammation in earlier life and colorectal cancer in later years, researchers say the connection does appear to exist. With that in mind, it is important for those who are obese in adolescence to take steps to reduce weight in healthy and safe manners to promote a reduction of colorectal cancer risks. In addition, losing weight can help prevent a host of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other weight-connected forms of cancer.

Those who are overweight are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. There are many options available to help shed pounds and keep them off.

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