We all know that smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer - you can't buy cigarettes without being reminded of this on the packet. Within the decade however, obesity will overtake smoking as the lead cause of cancer according to specialists at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago. They pointed out that spiralling rates of obesity meanws that cancer, once seen as a disease of old age, is now being diagnosed up to twenty years earlier.
We now know that excess weight increases your risk of cancer significantly. The risk of prostate, colon, womb and all other gynaecological cancers, particularly breast cancer, is elevated, due to the hormone imbalances associated with obesity, which fuel tumour growth.
The intimate relationship between obesity and cancer does not stop there however, according to Dr. Eric Horwitz, radiation oncology lead researcher at the Fox Chase Cancer Center - American Oncologic Hospital, Philadelphia. His studies have found a correlation between obesity and increased risk for both cancer relapse and spread. Overweight survivors of prostate cancer treatment were found to have a three percent higher rate of relapse compared to their slimmer counterparts. They also had seven percent higher odds of the cancer spreading.