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New Study Shows Weight Loss Lowers The Risk Of Obesity Related Cancer In Overweight Individuals And People with Obesity

Weight Loss can Lower the Incidence of Obesity Related Cancers in overweight and people with obesity.

Obesity is associated with the risk of several types of cancer. The relative risk is 1.2 to 1.5 for overweight and 1.5 to 1.8 for obesity with regard to cancers of the colon, gastric cardia, liver, gallbladder pancreas, and kidney. The relative risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma and endometrial cancer are even higher up to more than fourfold for those with a BMI of 40kg/m2 or more. There are several  possible mechanisms that link obesity to cancer, including hormonal factors, growth factors and inflammation. 

Observational studies show clear evidence of associations between obesity and risk of some cancers, but there have been no clinical trials to date that have evaluated the effects of intensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss on the risk of cancer or cancer mortality

 A group of Authors  (Hsin-ChenYeh Et Al) published  a study to determine whether intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) aimed at weight loss lowers cancer incidence and mortality in individuals with overweight or obesity. Their conclusions were published today in Obesity, “Intensive Weight Loss Intervention and Cancer Risk in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: Analysis of The  Look AHEAD Randomized Clinical Trial” (Obesity, September 1st, 2020).

The authors analyzed the data from The Look AHEAD trial, which  was a multicenter randomized controlled trial of a lifestyle intervention designed to induce weight loss to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among individuals with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes. The data from this trial examined whether participants randomized to Intensive Lifestyle Intervention ( ILI ) designed for weight loss would have a reduced overall incidence of obesity- related cancer , and cancer mortality compared to just support and education (DSE). The trial included 4,859 patients. The median follows up was 11 years. There were 684 participants (332in(ILI) and 352 in (DSE)) that were diagnosed with cancer. The results showed the incidence of cancer  was 6.1 and 7.3 per 1000 person-years in ILI and DSE respectively. 

Analysis of the  Data from the  Look  AHEAD Trial indicated that an  intensive lifestyle intervention aimed at weight loss lowered the incidence of obesity related cancers by 16% in adults with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes.  

The authors concluded that this study provided evidence that patients with Obesity can reduce their cancer risk through weight loss. 

Although the results were not statistically significant,( most likely due to the insufficient sample size). The study did provide valuable evidence of the benefit of weight loss in reducing obesity related cancers.

Future trials need to be adequately powered to test weight loss effects on risk of specific obesity-related individual cancers.

Weight Loss is the cornerstone of therapy with obesity because it can reduce or completely resolve the metabolic risk factors for diabetes, coronary heart disease, and now there is clinical evidence it also reduces the risk of obesity related cancers.

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Key to success is one-on-one support, counseling, education 

Dr Keller Is Board certified in Obesity Medicine and Internal Medicine with over a decade of experience helping patients lose weight and keep it off.

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