Breaking News
October 19, 2018 - Conceptual framework proposed to examine role of exercise in multiple sclerosis
October 19, 2018 - Near infrared spectroscopy technique for accurate evaluation of chondral injuries
October 19, 2018 - Shorter physician encounters associated with antibiotic prescribing
October 19, 2018 - In the Spotlight: Enjoying research and exploring opportunities
October 19, 2018 - Physical activity lowers cardiovascular mortality risk in frail older adults
October 19, 2018 - New imaging tool helps visualize how sound-induced vibrations travel through the ear
October 19, 2018 - Key insights into the application, production of bioactive materials
October 19, 2018 - New urea sorbent could speed up the development of wearable artificial kidney
October 19, 2018 - Intensive care patients’ muscles less able to use fats for energy
October 19, 2018 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Dsuvia for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Acute Pain
October 19, 2018 - 48,XXXY syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
October 19, 2018 - Physical exercise improves the elimination of toxic proteins from muscles
October 19, 2018 - How a new system improved wait times for Stanford kidney transplant patients
October 19, 2018 - Nutrition has bigger positive impact on bone mass and strength than exercise
October 19, 2018 - Study finds lack of progress in media representation of nurses over last 20 years
October 19, 2018 - Many people have trouble understanding differences between OCD and OCPD
October 19, 2018 - New family planning app found to be as effective as modern methods
October 19, 2018 - Gastric Banding, Metformin Similar for Improving Glycemia
October 19, 2018 - Physiologist publishes findings on the role of the protein titin in muscle contraction
October 19, 2018 - What digital health companies need to do to succeed
October 19, 2018 - N. Carolina Sees Alarming Spike in Heart Infections Among Opioid Users
October 19, 2018 - Video monitoring of TB therapy works well in urban and rural areas
October 19, 2018 - Determining acid-neutralizing capacity for OTC antacids
October 19, 2018 - Males who spend more time taking care of kids have greater reproductive success
October 18, 2018 - Study to explore bioethics of brain organoids
October 18, 2018 - Environmental conditions may drive development of multiple sclerosis
October 18, 2018 - Genetically modifying zebrafish provides more accurate disease models
October 18, 2018 - Purdue Pharma, Eisai announce positive topline results from Phase 3 study of lemborexant
October 18, 2018 - 5 Strength-Training Mistakes to Avoid
October 18, 2018 - Immune system’s balancing act keeps bowel disease in check
October 18, 2018 - Anti-inflammatory drug effective for treating lymphedema symptoms | News Center
October 18, 2018 - Keeping Your Voice Young
October 18, 2018 - One-time universal screening recommended to tackle increase in hepatitis C
October 18, 2018 - Researchers to develop new stem cell-based strategies for treating vision disorders
October 18, 2018 - Detecting epigenetic signature may help people stay ahead of inflammatory bowel disease
October 18, 2018 - Understanding AFib: Slowing down the dancing heart
October 18, 2018 - Using NMR to Reduce Fraud
October 18, 2018 - New automated model identifies dense breast tissue in mammograms
October 18, 2018 - Mysterious polio-like illness baffles medical experts while frightening parents
October 18, 2018 - Cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis on the rise across U.S.
October 18, 2018 - Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging
October 18, 2018 - New tool could help prioritize recovery efforts for the poorest hit by natural disasters
October 18, 2018 - Hundreds of dietary supplements shown to contain unapproved drugs
October 18, 2018 - Active Pharmaceuticals ID’d in >700 Dietary Supplements
October 18, 2018 - Cell death protein also damps inflammation
October 18, 2018 - AI pathology diagnostic tool developed using deep learning technology from Olympus
October 18, 2018 - Health Highlights: Oct. 15, 2018
October 18, 2018 - Largest study of ‘post-treatment controllers’ reveals clues about HIV remission
October 18, 2018 - Bad Blood in Silicon Valley: A conversation with John Carreyrou
October 18, 2018 - ANTRUK’s Annual Lecture sends out message on shortage of funds for antibiotic research
October 18, 2018 - NAM special publication outlines steps to ensure interoperability of health care systems
October 18, 2018 - Novel method uses just a drop of blood to monitor effect of lung cancer therapy
October 18, 2018 - New blood test could spare cancer patients from unnecessary chemotherapy
October 18, 2018 - Training young researchers to work with data volumes arising in the health sector
October 18, 2018 - New Metrohm IC method is reliable and convenient to use for zinc oxide assay
October 18, 2018 - Global AIDS, TB fight needs more money: health fund
October 18, 2018 - Understanding the forces that cause sports concussions
October 18, 2018 - Research points to new target for treating periodontitis
October 18, 2018 - New tool improves assessment of postpartum depression symptoms
October 18, 2018 - From Biopsy to Diagnosis
October 18, 2018 - Sexual harassment and assault linked to worse physical/mental health among midlife women
October 18, 2018 - Stumped by medical school? A Q&A with a learning specialist
October 18, 2018 - Report predicts life expectancy in 2040, Spain comes out on top
October 18, 2018 - Self-lubricating condoms may help raise condom usage
October 18, 2018 - Targeting immune checkpoints in microglia could reduce out-of-control neuroinflammation
October 18, 2018 - Study finds changes in antiepileptic drug metabolism during different trimesters of pregnancy
October 18, 2018 - Autonomic nervous system directly controls stem cell proliferation, study shows
October 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Talzenna (talazoparib) for gBRCAm HER2-Negative Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer
October 18, 2018 - Sleeping Beauty technique helps identify genes responsible for NAFLD-associated liver cancer
October 18, 2018 - Many U.S. adults confused about primary care, study shows
October 18, 2018 - UC researcher focuses on light-mediated therapies to target breast cancer
October 18, 2018 - With philanthropic gifts, Stanford poised to make major advances in neurosciences | News Center
October 18, 2018 - Mice study shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis
October 18, 2018 - Researchers discover why heart contractions are weaker in individuals with HCM
October 18, 2018 - Participation in organized sport during childhood may have long-term skeletal benefits
October 18, 2018 - Probiotic/antibiotic combination could eradicate drug-resistant bacteria
October 17, 2018 - More Socioeconomic Challenges for Hispanic Women With HIV
October 17, 2018 - 49,XXXXY syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
October 17, 2018 - Scientists uncover possible new causes of Tourette syndrome
October 17, 2018 - Girl undergoes unusual heart surgery after compassionate-use exemption | News Center
Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults

Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
cancer
Killer T cells surround a cancer cell. Credit: NIH

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher has compiled evidence from more than 100 publications to show how obesity increases risk of 13 different cancers in young adults. The meta-analysis describes how obesity has shifted certain cancers to younger age groups, and intensified cellular mechanisms promoting the diseases.

Cancer typically associated with older adults over 50 are now reported with increasing frequency in young adults. Of the 20 most common cancers in the United States, nine are now reported in young adults. In 2016, nearly 1 in 10 new breast cancer cases, and 1 in 4 new thyroid cancer cases were in young people aged 20-44, according to the review published in Obesity. The data show that with obesity rising among younger demographics, so are cancer rates.

The new review integrates animal studies, clinical trials, and public health data to help explain rising cancer rates among young adults. It describes how the childhood obesity “pandemic” promotes cancer. It also offers approaches to better track—and hopefully avert—this public health crisis.

Young people with body mass indexes (BMIs) over 30 are more likely to experience aggressive malignancies, says author Nathan A. Berger, MD, Hanna-Payne Professor of Experimental Medicine; director of the Center for Science, Health and Society; member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; and professor of medicine, biochemistry, oncology and genetics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. According to his review, childhood obesity may have lasting effects that could lead to cancer early and late in life.

Obesity can permanently alter a young person’s likelihood of developing cancer. Even after losing weight, cancer risk remains. Says Berger, “If you are obese, you are at a higher risk of cancer. If you lose weight, it improves the prognosis and may lower your risk, but it never goes away completely.” Obesity causes changes to a person’s DNA that can add up over time. These changes include genetic flags and markers—epigenetic modifications—that increase cancer risk and may remain long after weight loss.

Data from clinical trials and animal obesity studies further link excess weight to cancer. Berger’s review shows obesity accelerates cancer progression in several ways. It overactivates the immune system to produce harmful byproducts like peroxide and oxygen radicals that mutate DNA. Obesity also alters a person’s metabolism, causing growth factor and hormone imbalances that help cancer cells thrive. In the gut, obesity changes intestine microbiota such that tumor-promoting species dominate. Acid reflux in obese individuals damages their swallowing tubes and heightens risk of esophageal cancer. Berger’s research confirms obesity promotes cancer by multiple simultaneous pathways. “Even if one pathway is successfully blocked, obesity-induced cancer takes another path,” he says.

Berger provides quantitative and anecdotal data supporting an association between early obesity and specific cancers. He cites one study of over 1.1 million Israeli men tracked over time. Those who were overweight in adolescence (age 16-19) had a 1.5-fold increased risk of developing colon cancer by age 48.

Another study, says Berger, asked adults to draw their adolescent body shapes. “Patients who drew a round body shape had a higher incidence of multiple myeloma.” Such anecdotal evidence hints at long-term effects of childhood obesity, which Berger supports with other analyses. Adults with a history of obesity are twice as likely to develop multiple myeloma. Berger says obesity can also shorten cancer timelines, in part by shrinking the period between benign and malignant cancer progression. This is likely another reason aggressive cancer rates are rising among young adults. Multiple myeloma is now reported in young adults under 45, while historically the peak incidence age held steady at 69 for decades.

The review is a deep dive into 13 cancers previously identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as linked to excess body fat. But it is one of the first to specifically address how obesity promotes progression of these cancers in young adults. It includes Berger’s recommendations to disrupt the link between obesity and young adult cancers.

Berger suggests documenting health data, including BMI, throughout a patient’s life is critical. Many cancer patients present after significant weight loss, which could cause doctors to overlook obesity-related factors. Berger hopes that increased use of electronic medical records will help build databases that can detect weight loss patterns—even if they occurred decades prior or are confounded by other health issues. Says Berger, “By documenting characteristics like diet and environment of an obese person, we might be able to get an indication of a possible prognosis.”

Detailed information about a person’s weight history could help, as could early cancer screening techniques tailored to young people. But, says Berger, “the most effective way to curtail development of this problem is to prevent the expansion of the obesity pandemic in both children and adults.” Without this step, 110 million children and adolescents with obesity worldwide remain at risk of developing obesity-associated cancers.


Explore further:
Obesity linked to 13 types of cancer (Update)

More information:
Young Adult Cancer: Influence of the Obesity Pandemic, Obesity, DOI: 10.1002/oby.22137 , https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.22137

Journal reference:
Obesity

Provided by:
Case Western Reserve University

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles