Obesity is now linked to ovarian cancer

Washington (WUSA9)---Being overweight or obese is a growing cancer risk for both men and women.

New reports from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund finds that body weight increases women's risk of ovarian cancer. After studying 4 million women, results show for every 5-point increase in BMI there is a 6 percent increase risk of developing ovarian cancer. BMI is a measure of body fat.

With two thirds of women in the U.S overweight or obese this is not a statistic to take lightly. Approximately 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer every year, largely due to its difficulty in detection.

Alice Bender, MS, the Associate Director of Nutrition Programs for AICR agrees that weight and lifestyle play an important role reducing your risk of cancer. .

"This is really an empowering message. There are no guarantees, but adding activity into your day and healthy plant foods onto your plate are steps you can take today to reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic conditions as well," says Bender.

14,000 women die each year from ovarian cancer.

Bender says, "There are some steps that women can take to reduce their risk. Of course there are no guarantees with cancer, but with ovarian cancer there are not many things that we know that are under a woman's control to reduce their risks and now we know that this is one of those."

According to the AICR, this now makes a total of 8 cancers that are tied to obesity. They include:

  • Post-menopausal breast cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • gallbladder cancer
  • pancreatic cancer

AICR estimates that obesity is responsible for over 120,000 cases of cancer every year in the US.

Some recommendations ACIR suggests for preventing cancer are to keep a lean weight, do physical exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and limit sugary drinks. You can check your BMI status on AICR's website as well as see more recommendations.

Written by: Brittany Linton, WUSA9


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