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An international team of researchers reported that obese women (obesity effects)who carry most of their extra weight around the stomach are 70 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer (pancreatic cancer treatment) is the fifth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. It accounts for only about 2 percent of the cancers diagnosed each year but the first-year survival rate is less than 5 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Until now, smoking and chronic pancreatitis were the most well established risk factors for the disease in men and women, with much of the evidence also pointing to a stronger obesity link for men.obesity

The findings suggest that the link between obesity and pancreatic cancer is as strong in women as in men, Juhua Luo of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and colleagues reported in the British Journal of Cancer.

“We found that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer was significantly raised in obese postmenopausal women who carry most of their excess weight around the stomach,” she said in a statement.

“Obesity is a growing and largely preventable problem, so it’s important that women are aware of this major increase in risk.”

As part of a large study known as the Women’s Health Initiative, Luo and colleagues followed more than 138,000 menopausal women in the United States for more than seven years to investigate the links between obesity and pancreatic cancer.

More information at Reuters