Obesity increases the risk of many cancers, and as obesity rates have been rising in younger age groups, rates of these cancers are shifting to include more young or middle-aged adults.
That was the conclusion of a review article in the journal Obesityin March 2018, which looked at 13 cancers that are associated with obesity, including breast, colorectal, kidney, endometrial, thyroid, ovarian, and esophageal.
In addition, obese younger people are more likely to experience aggressive forms of these cancers.
The paper discussed the many ways by which obesity accelerates cancer development and progression: by overactivating the immune system to produce harmful byproducts that damage DNA; altering metabolism to create hormonal and growth-factor imbalances; altering the balance of microbiota in the gut; and increasing acid reflux, which can damage the esophagus.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see 18 Keys to Healthy Weight Loss.