The link between 10 cancers and Overweight or Obesity

By Sonya Hansen MD

This month happens to be Breast cancer awareness month and the world obesity day. In its honor, I'd like to talk about the link between cancer and obesity.

A study involving 900,000 subjects (cancer free at baseline) for more than 15 years, showed those with a BMI of 40 or greater (Obesity) had 50-60% higher death rates from cancer. That's a staggering statistic. The Million Women Study showed an increased incidence of breast cancer (in post menopausal women), endometrial cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma as well as cancer of colon, esophagus, liver, pancreas and kidney.

It is now standard to refer patients newly diagnosed with cancer for weight loss treatment with the goal to reduce their mortality and improve their outcomes. I treat people for obesity daily and I must say, the treatment is intense. We change behaviors from the moment they rise to bedtime. We meet weekly to troubleshoot and bring down barriers to success. Every encounter with food, alcohol, the TV, is an opportunity to make a healthier choice. While a diagnosis of cancer can be extremely motivating to make deep changes in ones life, it's also a very stressful, difficult time. The undeniable fact is that once diagnosed, a person probably looks back at all those times they tried to lose weight and quit for one reason or another. And one can only imagine, how they might wish they had stuck with it.

Let us use this month of October to make a promise to ourselves to be the healthiest we can be. To give up unhealthy behaviors so that we can do our part in maintaining a happy, healthy, long life.

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34 Wailea Gateway PL,

Suite A-104,

Wailea, HI 96753

Phone. 808-891-2485

Fax. 808-891-2495