Controlling weight can help a person reduce the risk of cancer, said an oncologist from the National Cancer Institute-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.
“We do not know exactly how and why obesity affects cancer risk, but we know there is an increase, so it is important for everyone to control their weight to minimize this risk,” said Dr. Kent Osborne, director of the Duncan Cancer Center and the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, both at Baylor.
Research has linked obesity to a greater risk of developing esophageal, pancreatic, colorectal, breast, endometrial, kidney, thyroid and gallbladder cancer, Osborne said.
In some cancers like breast cancer, there is also an increase in the risk of recurrence if a patient already has the cancer and is obese.
Many other factors, such as genetics, may play a role in cancer development, but keeping a normal weight is one thing people can change and it may help, he said.