Obesity and colorectal cancer risk

Colorectal cancer ranks second in causing deaths in adults residing in developed countries. One of the major contributors to the same is being obese. Though obesity can lead to a number of harmful diseases, cancer is the most common of all. The relationship between being overweight and having colon and rectal cancer was not determined until recently. However, latest studies have proved a direct impact.

Leptin is a hormone signal that is sent by fat signals. A healthy body produces normal levels of the hormone. However, when a person is obese, it results in leptin resistance. This leads to a drastic drop in adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a protein hormone that regularizes a number of metabolic functions like glucose production and fatty acid breakdown. It may lead to type 2 diabetes. Leptin also enhances the growth of cancer cells in obese people.

If you are obese, there are high chances of developing insulin resistance. This is a condition in which several organs in the body become resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin helps in the transportation of glucose into the cells. This is affected in people who are overweight. The high levels of insulin can lead to promotion of cancerous cells. Some tissues in the body are more vulnerable to this type of resistance than others and the colon is one of them.

The causes of diabetes and colon cancer are more or less similar. Obese people tend to have excess weight around the waist. Apart from this, the absence of any physical activities, partaking food which is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, presence of saturated fat and sugar in the meals, etc. are the major contributors. If you have diabetes and are obese, the chances of colorectal cancer are high.

Digestive inflammation is another aspect in obese people which may initiate colon cancer in a person. This is caused by the spreading of inflamed digestive tissues which is due to the improper functioning of the gene P-Cadherin. There are many ways by which this inflammation can be prevented, some of them being regular exercise, avoiding tobacco, having a healthy body, getting enough sleep, etc.

Colorectal cancer is more prominent in obese men than women. The growth of these cancerous cells takes anywhere between 10 and 15 years. Therefore, there is a lot of time in which one can deal with obesity and decrease the risk.

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