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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, December 4, 2017
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EDITORIAL

Diabetes and obesity

In a recent report published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers said that nearly six percent of some 800,000 new cancers diagnosed worldwide in 2012 were caused by diabetes and excess weight.

The researchers found that cancers stemming from diabetes and obesity combined were almost twice as common among women than men. They also found that of the two cancer-causing agents, being overweight or obese (above 25 on the body-mass index) was responsible for twice as many cancers as diabetes.

“While obesity has been associated with cancer for some time, the link between diabetes and cancer has only been established quite recently,” said lead author Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, a clinical research fellow at Imperial College London's Faculty of Medicine.

“Our study shows that diabetes – either on its own or combined with being overweight – is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cancer cases each year across the world.”

The global increase in diabetes and obesity over the last four decades has made the tally significantly worse. “In the past, smoking was by far the major risk factor for cancer, but now health care professionals should also be aware that patients who have diabetes or are overweight also have increased risk,” Pearson-Stuttard added.

Diabetes and obesity are often found together as the latter is a leading risk factor for the former. Researchers warn that based on current trends, the share of cancers attributable to the two conditions will increase by 30 percent for women and 20 percent for men in less than 20 years.

Those who are found or suspected to be either diabetic or obese can minimize risk with regular visits to their doctors and finding the sense of urgency to change lifestyles in order to reverse or lessen the impact of those conditions. Taking action now to control or prevent the onset of diabetes or obesity can improve the quality of life as well as decrease the risk of cancer. *

   

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