Obesity increases spontaneous and chemically induced tumor development. Studies have shown that a woman with a BMI of 40 has approximately 8 times greater risk of endometrial cancer than someone with a BMI of 25.

It has been shown that insulin resistance and hormones secreted from the fat cells (adipocytes) called adipokines increases the risk of cancer.The possible mechanisms in which obesity increases the risk of cancer are

  1. Fat tissue manufactures high amounts of hormone called estrogen. The increase in levels of estrogen in the blood has been co-related with the risk of development of cancer of breast and uterus.


  1. Obese people usually have high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in their blood. This condition is known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with increased risk of cancer.


  1. Fat cells (Adipocytes) manufacture hormones known as adipokines. These hormones may stimulate or inhibit the growth and function of cells. Leptin, which is found in higher amounts in fatty people, seems to promote rapid cell growth, which is one of the mechanisms in the development of cancer.

 Cancers Associated with Obesity


In Women


In Men


Breast (postmenopausal)  Prostate
Uterus Stomach
Cervix Large intestine and rectum
Ovary Kidney
Large intestine and rectum Liver/ Gall bladder
Kidney Pancreas
Liver/ Gall bladder Esophagus( Food pipe)
Pancreas Blood
 Esophagus( Food pipe)

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