Can Fat Loss Prevent Cancer?


If individuals achieve and maintain weight loss, we could prevent substantial cancer burden. This is most evident for postmenopausal breast cancer.
(British Journal of Cancer. 2008 October 7; 99 (7) 995–999)

In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) issued summary findings on the association of obesity with cancer. Convincing evidence was found for body fatness and colorectal, pancreatic, gall bladder, esophageal, postmenopausal breast, kidney, endometrial, lung and liver cancers.

Colon Cancer.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The risk of developing colon cancer is thought to be reduced through a number of lifestyle factors, with maintaining a healthy weight and physical activity being among the most important. The IARC report found consistent positive associations between body fatness, as indicated by body mass index (BMI), and risk of colorectal cancer. Risk of colon cancer was increased by 50–100% when comparing the highest and lowest categories of BMI (a height to weight ratio).

Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer is a major cause of morbidity and the leading cause of cancer mortality among women globally accounting for over 500,000 deaths per year. The IARC report concluded that obesity and weight gain are directly and positively related to postmenopausal breast cancer. An analysis conducted as part of the
WCRF/AICR report found a 5% increase in risk of postmenopausal breast cancer with each 5kg of weight gain.

Prostate Cancer.
Prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death among men worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death among US men and the most common type of cancer found in men in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Several studies provide significant support for the hypothesis that obesity increases the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Esophageal Cancer.
The WCRF/AICR found convincing evidence that body fatness increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Evidence for weight loss reducing risk of esophageal reflux and hence the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is growing. The researchers examined the change in BMI and found that a gain of 1kg after the age of 20 years increased the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma by 14%; those with a gain greater than or equal to 8kg had 3.4 times the risk as those with an increase between 0 and 3.9kg.

Pancreatic Cancer.
By y 2007 the WCRF/AICR had found convincing evidence that body fatness increased risk of pancreatic cancer. The WCRF/AICR reported a 14% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer for every 5kg increase in BMI.

Endometrial Cancer.
In 2002, IARC found sufficient evidence that obesity increased the risk of endometrial cancer. The WCRF/AICR meta-analysis found a 52% increase in risk for every 5kg increase in BMI and a 31% increase in risk for every 5kg as a young adult.

Kidney and Renal Cell Cancer.
Nearly all studies included in the WCRF/AICR report found an increased risk of kidney cancer with increased BMI. A meta-analysis found a 31% increase in risk for each 5kg increase in BMI.

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Dr_Matthew_EisenWho is Dr. Matthew Eisen?

“Dr. Matt” as he is known to his patients, is in private practice, an author, nationally sought after speaker, visionary and health ambassador to the general public as he educates and empowers others about true health and well-being.  He runs a large multi-discplinary health clinic in Roswell, GA (just north of Atlanta) and has over 10 years of clinical experience.  You can reach him at

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email are based upon the opinions of this office, unless otherwise noted. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician. The information here is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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