Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Connection Between Fat and Cancer Risk

A couple of recent studies shed light on a link between excess weight and cancer. However, each study comes to a different basis for that connection.

At Rutgers University,
scientists experimenting with mice found that, "fatty tissue may decrease the body's ability to kill off cancer." This may occur because fat cells produce a substance that "short-circuits" a body process, apoptosis, which fights cancer. Apoptosis is a kind of cellular suicide that occurs when cells become damaged (for example, by overexposure to the sun). If apoptosis occurs properly, damaged cells do not grow into tumors.

In
another study, carried out at Cedars-Sinai, researchers found that obese women develop more aggressive forms of ovarian cancer. According to the research team, "it's possible that fat tissue may be secreting factors or hormones that accelerate tumor growth."

Taken together, these studies suggest that A) you're more likely to get cancer if you're overweight and B) once you get it, it's going to be more aggressive than in lean people.

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About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.