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Cancer testing may identify risk in obese adults

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Obesity in adults has been linked to high occurrences of cancer, in recent testing performed by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

As a basis for the study, researchers at AICR examined seven cancers with known links to obesity and calculated the number of cases the condition may have caused. The report indicates that more than 100,000 cases of cancer each year are caused in part by excess body fat, according to CNN.

In particular, the study determined that 49 percent of endometrial cancers are caused by obesity, 35 percent of esophageal cancer cases and 28 percent of pancreatic cancer cases.

"Obesity not only raises the risk for getting cancer, it also has a negative effect on survival and can make treatment more difficult," AICR educational director Glen Weldon told the news source. He added, "This is the first time that we've put real, quantifiable case numbers on obesity-related cancers."

Though the root of this causal phenomenon has not been clinically verified, some scientists believe that excess estrogen released by body fat and increased levels of oxidative stress may play key roles in cell mutation.

Cancer testing may be appropriate for obese adults, who constituted 34% of U.S. adults in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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