Overweight, obesity and cancer
Did you know that being overweight significantly increases your risk of 13 different types of cancer? These include breast (post-menopause), bowel, kidney, liver, endometrial, ovarian, stomach, thyroid, oesophagus, gallbladder, pancreas, multiple myeloma and prostate (advanced) cancers.
Evidence now shows that being overweight or obese is the cause for nearly 5,300 cancer cases in Australia each year. Is your weight putting you at risk?
Did you know if you’ve had cancer, maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent it from coming back?
How being overweight increases cancer risk
Excess body weight increases insulin resistance, which leads to the pancreas producing more insulin. Elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 can promote the growth of cancer cells. Excess body weight can also increase sex steroid hormones, which are linked to endometrial and post-menopause breast cancer.
To find out your cancer risk, take the Cancer Risk Quiz.
Cancer Council recommendations
Reduce your cancer risk by achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. Eat and drink based on your energy needs. Make fruit, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain foods the basis of your diet. Cut out unhealthy snacks, fast food and sugary drinks. Pick up more physical activity.
Cutting down your weight will reduce your cancer risk.
Find out more about overweight/obesity and cancer prevention.
Tips to reduce your cancer risk:
- Limit the portion size of your meals and snacks.
- Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain and high-fibre foods.
- Cut out unhealthy snacks and replace with nuts, fruit, yoghurt or cheese.
- Swap sugary drinks for water.
- For breakfast, add fruit and yoghurt to wholegrain cereal or serve some veggies with your eggs and toast.
- Visit gethealthynsw.com.au or call 1300 806 258 for more tips and support.
- If you’ve had cancer, visit Life after cancer treatment to find out what support is available.