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High waist circumference can increase the risk of certain types of cancer
Cancer is a widespread worldwide cause and causes many deaths each year. Doctors have long been looking for ways to identify cancer more quickly and treat the disease more effectively. Researchers have now found that a larger waist size can be a warning sign of an increased risk of cancer.
The researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found in their investigation that a larger waist size can indicate an increased risk of cancer. The experts published the results of their study in the British Journal of Cancer.
At what waist size does the cancer risk increase?
The measurement of the waist circumference, like the BMI, can be used to predict the probability of developing cancer. An increased risk of certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes occurs from a waist size of 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women, explains the author Dr. Heinz Freisling from the Agency for Research on Cancer.
Everyone should know their BMI and waist size
People should know their BMI and waist size, the expert adds. To measure the waist circumference, all you have to do is put a measuring tape around your belly at the level of the navel. So everyone can easily measure their waist circumference and determine an increased risk of specific types of cancer, explains the doctor. These include, for example, pancreatic cancer or liver cancer, which are related to increased body fat or obesity.
What are the easiest causes of cancer to avoid?
Overweight or obesity are the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. Overweight or obesity has been linked to 13 types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer, the researchers explain.
An increased waist circumference of just 8 cm leads to a 15 percent higher risk of colon cancer
The current study looked at how BMI, waist measurement, and the waist-to-hip ratio can be used to predict the increased risk of obesity. Increasing the waist circumference by around 11 cm also increases the risk of cancer for cancers associated with obesity by 13 percent. In colon cancer, around 8 cm more waist circumference could be linked to an increased cancer risk of 15 percent, say the doctors.
Researchers analyze the data from around 43,000 subjects
The study examined the combined data from approximately 43,000 participants over an average of 12 years. During this period, more than 1,600 people were diagnosed with cancer associated with obesity.
Measuring the waist circumference can determine the visceral fat
The main problem with measuring BMI is that a high percentage of muscle mass as well as excess fat can lead to an increased BMI, the scientists say. Measuring the waist circumference, on the other hand, could exactly reflect the visceral fat, which is known to be a risk of cancer.
More research is needed
Our results show that both the BMI and body fat are good indicators of an increased risk of cancer. Fat worn especially around the waist can have a strong impact on certain types of cancer, explains author Freisling. Further research on this topic is now needed. (as)