Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why Cancer Prevention Is A Weighty Health Issue

“Research has shown that fat cells release hormones which can increase the risk of cancer. A recent survey commissioned by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found that 50 per cent of people are not aware that being overweight is a cause of cancer. "We still have a long way to go in terms of getting across the message that people can make a real difference to their cancer risk," says Lisa Cooney, head of education for WCRF. Scientists believe there are several reasons for the link between body fat and cancer risk. One example is the relationship between excess fat and the hormonal balance in the body. Research has shown that fat cells release hormones such as oestrogen, which increases the risk of cancers such as breast cancer. Studies have also shown that fat, particularly if it is stored around the waist, encourages the body to produce substances known as growth hormones. Having high levels of these hormones is linked to a greater risk of cancer. ‘You don't have to be going to the gym every day to count yourself as physically active,’ Lisa adds. ‘Everyday activities such as brisk walking, cycling, sweeping or vacuuming all count towards your daily total.’ Being physically active reduces the risk of colon cancer and probably helps prevent post-menopausal breast cancer and womb cancer, say researchers.”

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