Obesity Linked to Secondary Cancers in Men

With a third of the American population estimated to tip the scales well beyond the healthy range, researchers have found another good reason to motivate the population to address obesity head on. A recent study shows a strong link between obesity and secondary cancers among men.

The study in question found that men who are obese prior to an initial diagnosis of cancer are at a higher risk than others for also developing secondary primary cancers. To arrive at those findings, researchers tracked more than 230,000 male cancer survivors over the course of several years. During the study period, more than 4,700 patients presented with secondary cancers. Their rate of diagnosis for secondary cancers was 1.1 times higher in obese men than that found in the general population.

The findings, researchers say, send a strong message about the link between obesity and cancer. They also send a strong message about the need for people to take action to address obesity as a preventative measure not only for primary cancers, but secondary cancers.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and elsewhere. The condition has been linked with a number of different cancers, including liver, colorectal and kidney. In addition to cancer, those who are considered obese are also at higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and a host of other conditions.

Serious obesity is generally measured as having a body mass index of 35 to 40 or higher. Invasive medical interventions, such as gastric bypass surgery, are typically reserved for people with BMIs of 40 or higher. Medical professionals, however, may sometimes recommend such actions in people with lower BMIs if concerns, such as diabetes, are also present. Interventions, such as the gastric bypass, have been shown to be very useful in preventing and/or treating conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

People who are overweight or obese are strongly urged to take action to lose weight. Medical professionals have a number of tools at their disposal to assist in the journey. In addition to surgical interventions, there are medications, support programs and less invasive procedures that can help people address weight effectively.

Taking steps to address obesity can dramatically lower risks for a diversity of health conditions. As the study shows, it may also help lower the risks of developing secondary cancers in men. Considering the importance, it is strongly urged that people who are overweight speak with their healthcare providers for advice and assistance to help them shed pounds and keep them off.

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