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Is There a Link Between Obesity and Cancer?

Most people understand that obesity and heart disease are strongly linked. After all, when the body is carrying around extra pounds, the heart must work harder just to perform its basic job.

But, what about cancer? Does being overweight increase the risks for this potentially fatal condition forming?

The simple answer is yes. A number of studies have indicated that obesity is a risk factor in the development of a number of different types of cancer. Those forms of the disease that being overweight increases the risk for include:

• Esophageal cancer
• Pancreatic cancer
• Colorectal cancers
• Breast cancer, especially following menopause
• Kidney
• Thyroid
• Gallbladder
• Endometrium

Some studies have also indicated that obesity can morbidity are linked in certain forms of cancer, such as prostate.

Tipping the Scales in Your Favor

Losing weight can have a positive impact not only on cancer risks, but also overall health. With that in mind, it is important for those who know it’s time to shed pounds to take positive steps in the right direction. These tips can assist:

• Eat smaller, healthier meals – Work on limiting caloric intake to what is simply needed for good health. That means eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day that are balanced and healthy. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat items are often the best.
• Get active – If exercise isn’t part of the routine, make it so. If you haven’t exercised in a while, be sure to consult with a physician for a medical all clear.
• Be patient and persistent – Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. Set realistic goals, such as 1 to 2 pounds a week, and stick with a safe, healthy plan as those pounds are shed.

Obesity and cancer are strongly linked. Taking steps to shed the pounds can reduce risks while improving overall health in the process.

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