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Being overweight almost DOUBLES the risk of women developing womb cancer, study claims

  • For every five extra body mass index units, the risk of disease jumps by 88%
  • This is same as gap between overweight (25 to 29.9) and obese (30 or above)
  • University of Bristol scientists looked at DNA samples from 120,000 women

Being overweight almost doubles the risk of women getting womb cancer, benadryl hair loss a study suggests.

For every five extra body mass index units, the risk of the disease is heightened by 88 per cent.

An increase of five BMI units is equivalent to the difference between the overweight (25 to 29.9) and obese (30 or above) category.

University of Bristol scientists looked at DNA samples from around 120,000 women from around the world, of which around 13,000 had womb cancer.

Being overweight almost doubles the risk of women getting womb cancer, a study suggests. For every five extra body mass index units, the risk of the disease is heightened by 88 per cent

They discovered those who had been overweight throughout their life had genetic differences that increased their levels of testosterone and fasting insulin, which in turn raised their risk of developing womb cancer.

By pinpointing exactly how obesity increases the risk of cancer, such as through the hormones, doctors in the future could use drugs to reduce or increase the levels of these hormones in people already at a higher risk of cancer.

The disease kills around 2,400 women a year in Britain, and roughly 12,500 in the US.  

Lead author Emma Hazelwood said: ‘This study is an interesting first step into how genetic analyses could be used to uncover exactly how obesity causes cancer, and what can be done to tackle it.

What are the symptoms of womb cancer? 

Main symptoms of womb cancer can include:

  • bleeding or spotting from the vagina after the menopause
  • heavy periods from your vagina that is unusual for you
  • vaginal bleeding between your periods
  • a change to your vaginal discharge

Other symptoms of womb cancer can include:

  • a lump or swelling in your tummy or between your hip bones (pelvis)
  • pain in your lower back or between your hip bones (pelvis)
  • pain during sex
  • blood in your pee

SOURCE: NHS 

‘Links between obesity and womb cancer are well-known.

‘But this is one of the largest studies which has looked into exactly why that is on a molecular level.

‘We look forward to further research exploring how we can now use this information to help reduce the risk of cancer in people struggling with obesity.’

The peer-reviewed study, published in BMC Medicine, is one of the first of its kind to look at the effect of lifelong higher BMI on womb cancer risk rather than a snapshot in time.

Being overweight or obese is the second-highest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, with more than one in 20 cases estimated to be as a result of this.

Womb cancer, which affects one in 36 UK women in their lifetime, is closely linked to obesity, which causes around a third of cases.

Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, which funded the research, said: ‘Studies like this bolster the fact that being overweight or obese is the second biggest cause of cancer in the UK and can help us start to pinpoint why.

‘This will play a pivotal role in uncovering how to prevent and treat cancer in the future’.

A BMI of 18 to 25 is considered a healthy weight, 25 to 30 is overweight, and over 30 is obese.

The 2019 Health Survey for England estimated 28 per cent of adults were obese and 36 per cent were overweight.

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