Experts Weigh in on Study Showing Higher Rates of Obesity-Related Cancers

by Kristin Goddard | May 02, 2019
Young adults in the U.S. are experiencing higher rates of obesity-related cancers than their predecessors did at their age, a new American Cancer Society study finds.

We asked Dr. Jeffrey Cilley M.D., an oncologist with SCMG who specializes in hematology and oncology, and Galter LifeCenter Personal Trainer Diana Dimas, M.Ed. and Cancer Exercise Specialist to share their comments.

Dr. Jeffrey Cilley M.D.

"This is a very important and concerning issue and directly related to what I believe to be our diet in the U.S.  We are over fed and under nourished! Clinically I have seen young adults with colorectal cancer that have required surgery and chemotherapy. In theory this could pose more of a risk for complications from these treatments in the future, since they are surviving for a longer period of time post treatment when compared to older adults. I recommend a healthy diet and regular exercise that helps reduce the total body fat percentage to a healthy range."  

Diana Dimas, M.Ed. and Cancer Exercise Specialist:

"Food, nutrition and exercise play a huge role in our health. With lifestyles being so hectic, we often gravitate toward what is fast and easiest, which doesn’t always equate to healthy. According to The American Institute for Cancer Research, it is estimated that between 60 and 70% of all cancers have been directly linked to our daily dietary and lifestyle habits.

Parents can establish healthy habits early on. We need to introduce nutrient dense foods and lead by example when it comes to exercise. Obesity rates are expected to continue to climb and as adults we have the potential to change our habits."

Researchers analyzed 20 years of incidence data for 30 cancers – 12 of which are associated with obesity and excess body weight – among adults’ ages 25 to 84 in 25 states from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries' Cancer in North America database. The study found that incidence of six cancers – colorectal, endometrial, multiple myeloma, gall bladder, kidney and pancreas – out of the 12 related to obesity in adults between the ages of 25 and 49 increased significantly between 1995 to 2014.

The report stated these obesity-related cancer rates were observed to have increased gradually in "successively younger birth cohorts." The risk of colorectal, uterine corpus (endometrial), pancreas and gall bladder cancers in millennials was found to be about double the rate baby boomers faced at the same age, according to a press release on the report.

To read the study please visit:

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