Obesity and Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women in the U.S. An interesting new study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that, not only is obesity linked to the risk of developing this fatal disease, but that obesity in early adulthood in particular makes you significantly more likely to develop the disease, compared to gaining weight later in life.

The researchers from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that obese youths between the age of 14 and 19 years old had a 60 percent higher chance of developing pancreatic cancer than their less overweight peers.

Obese individuals between the age of 20 and 40 were two to three times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Interestingly, the risk levelled off for those who gained the weight in their 40s and 50s.

The study also found that obese or overweight individuals were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer earlier on their lives.

Since the medical and surgical treatments for cancer of the pancreas are so very limited, this data adds yet another argument to the need to combat the obesity epidemic here in the United States. Go to the gym and do your bit for cancer prevention! 

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