Colorectal Cancer Risk and Obesity: Is There a Connection?

January 23, 2018 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Obesity Colon Cancer

A worried manColorectal cancer is the fourth most diagnosed cancer in America. There has been some evidence that being obese or morbidly obese can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is why so many people seek help at our Tijuana, MX weight loss surgery center. Obesity treatment through surgery can prevent cancer and improve overall quality of life.

The team at Tijuana Bariatrics would like to take a moment to consider the connection between obesity and colorectal cancer and why losing weight is so crucial to living well.

Findings and Numbers

Research into the links between colorectal cancer and obesity have been telling. According to the National Cancer Institute, people who are obese are 30 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer than people who are of normal weight. Being obese or morbidly obese impacts the risk of this cancer in both men and women, though the risks are heightened in obese men.

Keep in mind that an estimated 37 percent of Americans older than 20 are obese, while 70 percent of Americans over 20 are overweight or obese. This means that a potentially preventable type of cancer may be more likely among a significant number of the population.

Why the Risk Might Be Increased

Researchers have yet to find a definitive answer to the heightened cancer risk. There are, however, a few educated assumptions about what’s involved.

  • People who are obese tend to have chronic, low level inflammation, which can lead to DNA damage and eventually cancer
  • Issues with insulin levels like those associated with diabetes can increase the risk of colorectal cancer
  • The excessive fat cells in the obese can produce adipokines, which may be linked to the development of colorectal cancer

Additional Factors Contributing to Heightened Cancer Risk

In addition to obesity, there are secondary factors to consider the may result in a heightened risk of colorectal cancer. Many people who are obese tend to have poor diets, which can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Poor habits such as a sedentary lifestyle can also increase the chances of cancer developing.

Risk of Developing Other Kinds of Cancers

Obesity has been linked to around 4 percent of annual cancer diagnoses. This is because obesity can also increase a person’s risk of developing these other kinds of cancers:

  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

How Bariatric Surgery Can Help

Given the heightened risk of cancer associated with obesity, this points out once again why it’s so important for people to try to maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight can be difficult, however, which is why medical procedures may be necessary.

Gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding, and gastric sleeve procedures can promote rapid yet safe weight loss. These surgeries can help prevent the development of cancer as well as other serious health conditions associated with obesity.

Is Bariatric Surgery Right for Me?

The best way to find out if bariatric surgery is a good option for you is to visit our practice for a consultation. We can discuss your weight loss and general wellness goals and provide insight into which options might be right for you.

Learn More About Weight Loss Surgery

For more information about the benefits of bariatric surgery and whether or not it’s a good option for you to consider, be sure to contact a skilled bariatric surgeon today. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics will work with you to ensure you get the help you need.