Obesity is raising cancer risk in women by 40%

Figures from Cancer Research UK found obese women in the UK have 40% greater risk of being diagnosed with a weight-related cancer.  The charity has said more than a fifth of women are obese in the United Kingdom.

Cancer Research UK said obesity increases a woman’s risk of at least seven types of cancer, including bowel and post-menopausal breast.

Being excessively overweight increases a woman’s risk of post-menopausal breast cancer as well as cancer of the bowel, gall bladder, womb, kidney, pancreas and gullet.

In a group of 1,000 obese women, 274 will be diagnosed with a weight-related cancer in their lifetime, compared with 194 in a similar group of healthy weight woman, according to figures released by the charity.

Around a quarter of women in the UK are obese, as defined by their body mass index (BMI) which relates weight and height.

A BMI of 25 to 29 is categorised as “overweight” and anything above 29 as “obese”.

One way obesity could increase the risk of cancer is through the production of hormones by fat cells, especially oestrogen.

In the UK it is estimated that 18,000 women develop cancer as a result of being overweight or obese each year, said CRUK.