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Excess weight increases cancer risk

Obesity can cause cancer by preventing cells from responding to insulin (Cancer, February 15, 2009; Lancet, February 18, 2008). Before insulin can do its job of driving sugar from your bloodstream into cells, it must first attach to insulin receptors, small hooks on the cells surface. Being overweight means that your fat cells fill with fat. This prevents insulin from attaching to insulin receptors. Since insulin cannot do its job of driving sugar from blood into cells, blood sugar levels rise. This causes the pancreas to release even more insulin. Insulin is a cell growth factor, and excessive insulin stimulation of cells causes cells to grow without control.

Obesity also raises blood levels of other cancer promoters; for example, full fat cells produce estrogen which stimulates breast cancer. Obesity also increases Insulin-Like Growth Factor that stimulates cancer cells to grow. Cancers that are associated with obesity include colon, rectum, breast, ovary, pancreas, inner lining of the uterus, esophagus and gallbladder.

Checked 9/10/10

August 26th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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