Roundup: Being Overweight or Obese Linked to Higher Cancer Risk in More Studies

Extremely obese people who undergo surgery to shed excess weight lower their risk of developing cancer, according to a new report.

The new findings on weight-loss surgery patients reflect previous studies that have tied obesity to a higher cancer risk. A separate report released this month found that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk for at least 13 types of cancer.

The study on weight-loss surgery was done by researchers from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and published in the Annals of Surgery. They looked at data on almost 89,000 severely obese patients, including about 22,000 who had what’s known as bariatric surgery to lose weight between 2005 and 2014. After an average follow-up of 3.5 years, 2,543 people had been diagnosed with cancer.

Patients who had bariatric surgery were 33 percent less likely to develop any type of cancer, compared to those who didn’t have the surgery. Those who had weight-loss surgery also had 40 percent lower risk of developing tumors that are linked to obesity.

In a separate report published Oct. 3 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the researchers found that in 2014 alone, more than 630,000 people in the U.S. had a type of cancer that was attributed primarily to be being overweight or obese. These cases represented more than 55 percent of all cancers diagnosed among women and 24 percent of all cancers diagnosed among men in the U.S.

The link between a person’s weight and the risk of certain cancers may come as a surprise to many, the researchers said. Previous studies have established relationships between a higher body-mass index (BMI) and chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The association with excess weight and certain cancers is less known, but new studies are emerging that have established a link.

“Many things are associated with cancer, but avoiding tobacco and maintaining a healthy weight are among the most important things people can do to lower their risk of getting cancer,” the CDC stated as part of its report.

Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 different types of cancer, the CDC said. These cancers represent 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed. About 2 in 3 of these cases occur in adults 50 to 74 years old. Most types of these cancers associated with being overweight and obesity increased from 2005 to 2014, the agency reports.

Being overweight or obese can cause changes in the body that lead to cancer, such as increases in levels of certain hormones and inflammation.

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Bananas, Avocados May Help Prevent Heart Disease

Bananas and avocados are good for your heart, says a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Translation: The more potassium in your diet, the less likely that your arteries will harden and the more likely you’ll avoid atherosclerosis, the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls.

In the study, groups of mice were fed “low, normal or high levels of dietary potassium.” Researchers said they “found that the mice fed a low-potassium diet had a significant increase in vascular calcification,” or hardening of the arteries. Meanwhile, mice fed high levels of potassium showed just the opposite or a “markedly inhibited vascular calcification,” the study’s authors said.

Potassium can be found in foods including potatoes, bananas, avocados and spinach.

“The findings have important translational potential,” said Paul Sanders, M.D., professor of nephrology in the UAB Department of Medicine and a co-author, “since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification …”

Heart disease is the top cause of death among men and women in the U.S., according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One in every four Americans die of a heart attack every year.

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Embrace Tomorrow by Getting Your Mammogram Today
When breast cancer is detected early, at a localized stage, the survival rate is 98 percent. Baptist Health South Florida is committed to changing the future of cancer care with Miami Cancer Institute, a world-class cancer center offering the most advanced technology with renowned cancer experts dedicated to the physical and emotional well-being of patients. In conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Baptist Health is offering special mammogram pricing in October to patients without insurance. Through October 31, 2017, a screening mammogram is $50, and a diagnostic mammogram is $100. The radiologist’s fee for 3D mammogram is included in the special prices. To schedule an appointment, call 786-573-6000 in Miami-Dade or Broward County, 305-434-1588 in Monroe County, or visit

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