Obesity and diabetes ‘causes up to 800,000 cancers worldwide each year’
Two of the most common lifestyle-related conditions cause almost a million new cancers worldwide each year, a study has found.
Diabetes and excess weight were responsible for nearly 800,000 newly diagnosed cancers, including those affecting the liver, breast, bowel and womb.
It is the first time scientists have estimated the worldwide cancer burden caused by being overweight or obese, as defined by a high body mass index (BMI), and the metabolic disease thought to affect more than four million people in the UK.
The vast majority of diabetes cases are the Type 2 form, which is strongly linked to lifestyle - poor diet, excess weight and inactivity - as well as genetics
Researchers led by a team from Imperial College London found that nearly 6% of new global cancer cases in 2012 resulted from the combined effects of diabetes and being overweight or obese.
On its own, being overweight was responsible for almost twice as many cancers as diabetes - 544,300 versus 280,100 cases.
Cancers linked to the two conditions were also nearly twice as common in women than in men.
Excess weight and diabetes together accounted for a quarter of all liver cancers and a third of endometrial cancers, which affects the lining of the womb.
If current trends continue, the share of cancers attributable to the two risk factors will increase by more than 30% in women and 20% in men by 2035, say the study authors.
Lead researcher Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, from Imperial's School of Public Health, said: "While obesity has been associated with cancer for some time, the link between diabetes and cancer h Continue reading