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Overweight, Obesity Contributing to Cancers in Young Adults

Murine models suggest excessive weight increases cancer incidence and accelerates development

overweight boy

TUESDAY, April 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity may be contributing to specific malignancies at younger ages, according to research published online March 23 in Obesity.

Nathan A. Berger, M.D., from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, conducted a comprehensive narrative review to examine the correlation of the obesity pandemic with appearance of cancers in young adults under age 50. Data were included from more than 100 publications, integrating preclinical, clinical, and epidemiological evidence. Evidence relating to 13 human obesity-linked cancers was reviewed for young adults.

The researchers identified sufficient data to suggest an influence of the obesity pandemic on the increase of cancer among young adults. Cancer is occurring in young adults with increasing frequency, with nine of the 20 most common cancers in the United States now reported in young adults. Excess weight has been associated with elevated risk of cancer, as well as morbidity and mortality. Based on multiple murine models, obesity was suggested to increase cancer incidence and accelerate its development, possibly contributing to the appearance of specific malignancies at younger ages.

"This prospect, in association with the worldwide expansion of obesity, suggests an impending explosive increase in obesity-associated cancers in young adults," the authors write.

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