Losing even just a little weight — just 5 to 10 percent of total body mass — can help reduce the risk of getting common types of cancer, the National Cancer Institute has found. That’s an important fact for Kentucky, which has high obesity and cancer rates.
Officials with the Office of the Surgeon General and the American Cancer Society say being overweight or obese can increase the risk of a wide variety of cancer, including prostate, kidney, colon, ovarian, cervical, thyroid, gall bladder and post-menopausal breast cancer.
“Fat cells produce estrogen, which promotes cell growth,” reports Karina Christopher, a Lexington Herald-Leader contributor. “They also make a variety of proteins that cause inflammation and insulin resistance, which can promote cell growth and reproduction. People who tend to be ‘apple-shaped’ have even more fat activity, because fat cells around the middle of the body divide even more rapidly. The faster the cells divide, the higher the risk of developing cancer.”
But losing just a small amount of weight by controlling food portions, getting active and planning meals ahead of time can help. (Read more)