Gone are the days when pot bellies used to be a sign of good living; nowadays they’re more of a license to life-threatening cancerous diseases.


Overweight persons are now at the risk of having 13 different types of cancer, researchers have warned.

During the course of a study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, experts examined more than 1,000 studies of excess weight and cancer risk.

The group of experts – under the International Agency for Cancer on Research (IARC) – had in 2002 listed five forms of cancers that could be gotten through excess weight.


They are; cancers of the colon, oesophagus, kidney, uterus and breast in postmenopausal women.

In present day, a new research has stumbled upon “sufficient evidence” to ascertain that eight further cancers are linked to excess body fat.





Gall bladder




Meningioma (A type of brain tumour)

Thyroid cancer

Blood cancer (Multiple myeloma)


The experts, numbering 21, also discovered that a person’s higher body mass index (BMI) portends a high risk of cancer.

“This comprehensive evaluation reinforces the benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight in order to reduce the risk of several different types of cancer,” Beatrice Lauby-Secretan, a doctor and lead author of the research said.


Cancer involves abnormal growth in the human body cell, which could lead to death if not discovered and treated early.


This abnormality has the potential of spreading through the body and crippling the funcionality of the human system.

There are about 195 types of the disease.

Signs and symptoms

At the early stage of cancer, there are usually no symptoms but it appears as soon as the disease grows.

Cancer is often referred to as a great imitator, which is why it is frequently diagnosed in people who have been treated for other diseases with similar symptoms.

There are several signs and symptoms of cancer but the general symptoms may include skin change, unintentional weight loss, fever and excessive fatigue.


About 93% of cancer cases are caused by environmental factors like environmental pollutants, obesity and infections while the remaining percentage is due to inherited genes.

There are also carcinogenic substances ranging from chemical-dense food to tobacco smoke which has been linked to lung cancer.

Prevention and management

Cure to cancer has not been discovered yet but preventive measures could be employed to reduce the risk.

Since cancer is largely caused by environmental factors, the disease could therefore be controlled through the life choices we make.

Dietary recommendation, vaccination and medication could help reduce the chances of acquiring the disease.

It could be managed through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and palliative care.

Since cancer consists of more than a disease (several types), there is no likelihood that a single cure would be found to it.

People are therefore implored to take preventive measures on issues pertaining to their health.

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