This Article is About
breast cancer risk
national cancer institute
body mass index
estrogen levels
breast cancer
american adults
types of cancer
fto gene
postmenopausal women
Obesity And Cancer: The New Link Between The FTO Gene And Increased Breast Cancer Risk
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Obesity And Cancer: The New Link Between the FTO Gene And Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Science has known for some time that obesity ups a person’s risk of a number of different cancers, and have been warning about that for years. But, despite all of the studies and the reports, the obesity numbers just keep climbing and unfortunately for the nation, so does the rate of certain types of cancer.

Around 64% of all American adults are either overweight or obese according to published reports. Obesity, with no other conditions or diseases accounts for a 25-30% increase in the risk of some of the most major forms of cancer, including breast, colon, endometrial, kidney and cancer of the esophagus. Other cancers, such as gallbladder and pancreatic cancer also have an increased risk due to obesity. Fourteen percent of all men who die of some form of cancer were obese. The number for women is 20%.

In 2003, a study that was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute revealed that postmenopausal women who were obese increased their risk of a certain type of breast cancer by nearly twenty percent. That cancer, an aggressive type that feeds on estrogen as well as other hormones is often deadly to these women not only because it is so aggressive but because their very size makes treating them more difficult. In that study, the women with the highest body mass index were found to have estrogen levels that were 50-219% higher than those of normal weight women. In the following year, a study was released that showed a dramatic increase in the risk of breast cancer for men, again directly related to obesity.

The latest study, conducted by Northwestern Memorial Hospital showed a direct link to the obesity associated gene (FTO), fat mass and the increased risk of breast cancer. Although everyone, regardless of their shape and size have this particular gene, 18% have a variant that leads them to become obese under the right circumstances. It is those people, with the variant of the FTO gene that are at the increased risk of developing breast cancer.

The study has put the medical profession one step closer to individualized medicine- a better way to not only monitor and test patients based on their genetic risk factors for certain diseases but to treat them as well. Currently, there is no testing procedure for the FTO gene variant, but that is likely to change as more is learned about it and its impact on health in general. Eventually, testing could be done to include this gene and others just like for the BRCA gene which can reveal the risk for certain types of breast cancer.

Doctors are still citing poor nutrition and diet as well as inactivity as the main cause of obesity which in addition to these cancers increases the risk of other serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes as well.


Street Talk

Gary2  

There so many different type of Cancer out there today all this great info help.Very nice Article Jacey. Gary

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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