Many women don’t know that obesity increases their risk of several types of cancer, according to a new survey.
Women’s lack of knowledge about excess weight and the most common gynecologic malignancy, endometrial cancer, is particularly worrying, Dr. Pamela T. Soliman of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and her colleagues say.
“We need to be doing a better job of educating our patients,” Soliman said.
Women who were overweight were four times more likely to develop cancer of the uterine lining, Soliman and her team note in their report, while obesity boosts the risk by six-fold.
Obese women (obesity effects)also are at greater risk of breast and colon cancer (signs of colon cancer). Excess weight also increases mortality from many cancers, with the strongest association seen for endometrial cancer; heavy women are 6.25 times more likely to die from the disease.
To investigate awareness of the obesity-cancer link, Soliman and her colleagues surveyed 1,545 women, 28 percent of whom were normal weight.
Another 24 percent were overweight, while 45 percent were obese. Ninety-one percent of the study participants had health insurance.
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