High BMI and Diabetes May Be Increasing Global Cancer Burden

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When the researchers looked at 12 site-specific cancers believed to have a causal link with BMI and/or diabetes, the PAFs were larger still, at 15.0% in men and 13.3% in women.

Researchers from Imperial College London analysed the data of 12 different types of cancer along with BMI and diabetes information from 175 countries in 2012.

'With nearly 12 million people in the United Kingdom at risk of type 2 diabetes, it's vital that people are supported to reduce their risk.

'Our study shows that diabetes, either on its own or combined with being overweight, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cancer cases each year across the world'.

Diabetes and excess weight were responsible for almost 800,000 of newly diagnosed cancers, including those affecting liver, breast, bowel and womb, say researchers from Imperial College, London.

And more than six in ten British adults are overweight or obese.

Dr Pearson-Stuttard added: "It is vital that co-ordinated polices are implemented to tackle the shared risk factors and complications of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes".

The threshold for obesity is the weight of BMI or Body Mass Index - one kilo divided by a person's height (in centimeters) of squares - 30.

The number of cancer cases due to high BMI is equivalent to the number of cases caused due to diabetes which is 280100.

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The two factors accounted for a quarter of liver cancers and more than a third of all endometrial cancers worldwide.

One in four diabetes-related cancer cases in 2012 (77,000 cases) were attributable to the worldwide rise in diabetes between 1980 and 2002.

Among breast cancer sufferers, those who rely on herbs, homeopathy or energy crystals to beat their disease are 5.68 times more at risk of an early death, a study by Yale School of Medicine found. Similar increases in the number of people with high BMI led to 174,040 new cases of weight-related cancers (a 31.9 per cent increase) over the same time.

"Both obesity and diabetes are preventable causes of cancer for which intervention is possible at multiple levels-in individuals, communities, health-care systems, and policy", conclude Park and Colditz in their commentary. Diabetes and BMI also had relatively large effects ( 10% PAF in either gender) on the risk for gallbladder, liver, pancreatic, kidney, and stomach cardia cancer.

Experts believe nearly 12 million people in the United Kingdom are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

"In the past, smoking has so far been a major risk factor for cancer, but now healthcare professionals should also be aware that patients with diabetes or being overweight also have an increased risk", Pearson-Stuttardard said.

The total number of obesity and diabetes-related cases in the United Kingdom is estimated at 20,800, after accounting for the fact that some patients are both fat and diabetic.

The new figures highlight the substantial role of diabetes in cancer worldwide, particularly in lower income countries where rates of people being overweight, diabetes and cancer cases are soaring.