We’ve known for a while that obesity causes an increased risk of developing cancer. Until now, the reasons behind that have only been based on hypotheses. Medical experts always suspected that body fat damaged healthy cells, but they never had studies to prove that theory. Scientists from Trinity College in Dublin have now confirmed it. Their study shows that fat clogs the body’s most important cancer-fighting cells, leaving it defenseless against malignant tumors.
How to Combat The Obesity-Cancer Link
Dr. Leo Carlin of the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute believes this study has opened up new opportunities for scientists to find treatments. Trinity researchers are currently testing a drug that will repair the fat-damaged cells and reestablish their cancer-fighting abilities.
Professor Lydia Lynch says that her team has been working in the lab with a compound that “can block the fat uptake,” and so far, that seems to give the cells the power to begin destroying cancer again.
But she also says that there’s an easier way to combat the obesity-cancer link: lose some weight. Excess body fat causes more than 1 in 20 cancers. The good news is that this risk factor is extremely preventable. It might even be the most preventable cause of cancer, second to smoking. Eliminating excess body fat is not only a great way to prevent cancer, it’s also healthier for in general. It prevents other diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and it lowers your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Lowering Your Cancer Risk with Lifestyle Changes
Losing weight isn’t the only lifestyle change you can make to avoid getting cancer. You can also eliminate these other common risk factors:
Smoking – Smoking is one of the leading causes of many cancers, including cancers of the liver, colon, rectum, lungs, oral cavities, bladder, and kidney. The toxic chemicals found in tobacco products increase your risk of developing cancer almost anywhere in the body. The sooner you stop smoking, the more you can reduce your risk.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption. Regularly drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing liver, esophageal, breast, colorectal, and head and neck cancers. Alcohol can prevent your body from absorbing important nutrients and can damage your DNA cells. Drinking either occasionally or in moderation can help lower your cancer risk.
Sun Exposure. Ultra-violet (UV) radiation from the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. It damages the DNA in your skin cells, which over time, can cause the cells to grow irregularly. Limiting direct sun exposure and using a high quality sunscreen can help you to protect your skin.
Poor Diet. A diet high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and inflammatory foods can put you at a higher risk of developing cancer. Let food be your medicine and make sure that everything you put in your body nurtures and protects it. Consume foods rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants to help your body repair cell damage.