The odds are that this is the last topic you’d like to discuss or read about in your day, but the link between obesity and bowel cancer is serious enough that it’s important that you pay attention. There are many different risk factors that are linked to this disease. That said, only some of them are within your reach to do something about them. Genetics might be out of your hands, but when it comes to certain other risks, there are changes that can be made to help reduce them.
Obesity and Bowel Cancer are Connected
No one wants to hear the news that they are facing an increased risk of a cancer but if you have obesity, especially as a teenager, your bowel cancer risk is going to go up much higher than your other classmates.
This doesn’t mean that if you do not have obesity, you’re not at risk of bowel cancer. That said, the large amount of additional weight does place you at a measurably higher risk than would be the case without it.
Understanding This Disease
This kind of cancer takes up about 10 percent of all the cases of cancer and can be a major issue when it comes to your health. While the exact cause of getting this kind of cancer is unknown, there are a few factors that can cause it, including family history, not getting enough exercise, alcohol, inflammation, smoking, and red meat.
Recently the link between bowel cancer risk and obesity has been explored and researchers found that if you were obese while a teenager, you may have doubled the chances that you will get this cancer later on in life. While this is a big thing to deal with, it is not the biggest shock to some. Scientists had already known this kind of risk was found with obese adults, but the idea that even obese teenagers can have a higher bowel cancer risk is newer.
The Obesity and Bowel Cancer Research
The study for this was done at the Orebro University Hospital in Sweden as well as at Harvard University. This study was large and used a quarter of a million men of Swedish ancestry, all between 16 and 20 years of age. They were measured for a lot of things including height and weight. The study worked to have a variety of students, including those who were at the right weight, those who were slightly overweight, and a few who were considered obese.
Over the course of about a 35-year span for most of the men, about 885 of them developed this kind of cancer. Those who were in the slightly overweight category were twice as likely to get the cancer while the ones who were considered obese had an increase in their bowel cancer risk over 2.28 times.
While the exact cause of why obesity would increase the risk of this cancer in the participants, it is believed that the inflammation that occurs from an unhealthy diet could be the culprit and that instead of these foods, eating ones that are healthy and fresh can actually reduce the risk of getting this kind of cancer. It is important to take good care of your health in order to prevent problems down the road with this kind of cancer.
What Does this Mean for You?
Though obesity and bowel cancer are linked, this doesn’t mean that you’re trapped at a higher risk level. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your BMI. This will not only help you to lower this particular risk, but also that associated with other cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions.
Together, you can develop a solution or treatment plan to reduce your weight and your risk of associated medical conditions.