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Overweight Associated With 500,000 Cancer Cases Per Year

Update Date: Nov 26, 2014 10:02 AM EST
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Overweight and obesity are the reasons for almost nearly half a million new cancer cases in adults every year, according to a new study. A quarter of these cases are "realistically avoidable," according to the authors. 

The study drew on a range of sources, including a large database of cancer incidence and mortality for 184 countries in 2012. 

In men, being overweight was blamed for 136,000 new cases, more than two-thirds of them cancers of the colon and kidney.

In women, it was linked to 345,000 cancer diagnoses, nearly three-quarters of which were post-menopausal breast, endometrial and colon cancers, the study said.

"Our findings add support for a global effort to address the rising trends in obesity," said lead researcher Melina Arnold in the press release.

"The global prevalence in adults has doubled since 1980. If this trend continues, it will certainly boost the future burden of cancer, particularly in South America and North Africa, where the largest increases in the rate of obesity have been seen over the last 30 years."

The study noted that in most developed countries like Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador, the five-year survival from breast and colorectal cancer has increased. 

The study was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology. 

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