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Avoid Overweight - Reduce Cancer Risk!

Excessive weight is not purely a cosmetic issue, but it’s also one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), current evidence suggests that the risk of developing certain malignant tumors increases with a higher body weight. So far, 13 different types of tumors have been identified, that are associated with excessive weight - including common types such as breast and colorectal cancer.

A recent study published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated the incidence of tumor diseases associated with being overweight or obese. Between 2005 and 2014, the number increased by 7% and was at 40% by the end of the study, for all new tumor diagnoses. Colorectal carcinomas were an exception, as their occurrence was significantly reduced due to effective screenings. Demographic differences were also identified. Thus, being overweight or obese seemed to influence the risk of cancer, especially in those over 50, and to a greater extent affected more women than men.

For decades, the proportion of overweight and obese people in the population as a whole has been steadily increasing, ranging from 50% to 70% in many countries. In addition, overweight and obesity already occurs frequently in childhood and adolescence. If this trend continues, there is a great risk that the number of weight-associated tumor diseases will increase in the future. While the risk for developing colorectal carcinomas in overweight and obese people increases by about 30%, it doubles for esophageal, gastric, liver and renal tumors. Overweight women have an even higher risk of developing endometrial carcinomas, with the estimated probability between two and four times higher.

These findings illustrate the dangers of excessive weight and the need for preventive measures and early treatment. Even a supposedly small weight gain of only 5 kilograms increases the risk of developing the aforementioned types of tumors. Regularly stepping onto a scale can give a great advantage in the early detection of extra weight. Particularly, doctors need to assume responsibility in the fight against obesity. Regular weigh-ins should be a part of any medical examination.

A wide range of professional scales,  as well as connected and automated measuring systemsare available for use in ambulatory and clinical environments. In addition to regular weigh-ins, any weight-fluctuations should be openly discussed, as well as possible therapy options, as soon as possible. In order to reduce the costs of long-term consequences, a revolution within health policies is needed to ensure the effective implementation, and adequate funding, of preventive measures, early detection and treatment. Obesity can be diagnosed through simple remedies and can be treated easily with a consistent approach. The health benefits of weight normalization are immense. It reduces the risk of illness and disability in the long term, and contributes to the improvement of physical and mental health, as well as a higher quality of life and satisfaction.

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