Obesity and Cancer

  • Mary MarianEmail author
  • Cynthia A. Thomson
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


Obesity is a global epidemic and a wealth of evidence suggests that obesity in addition to sedentary lifestyle and diet are modifiable risk factors associated with cancer. Several cancers including breast (in postmenopausal women), cervical, colon, endometrial, esophageal, gallbladder, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, rectal, renal, thyroid cancer, and even pancreatic cancer have been associated with obesity. A variety of biological mechanisms involving the adipocyte has been implicated in tumorigenesis. Moreover, poorer outcomes in terms of worsened disease survival have been reported for obese patients. A number of small, randomized, controlled trials to promote weight loss in cancer survivors have been undertaken and suggest modest results in relation to weight control. This chapter will review the potential mechanisms linking obesity and cancer together with a summary of the available studies of weight control in cancer survivors. Guidelines for cancer survivors regarding diet and physical activity for risk reduction and weight control also will be discussed.


Obesity and cancer Adipokines and cancer Weight control and cancer Obesity and cancer survivors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colleges of Medicine & Agriculture/Life SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public HealthUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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