Research has pinpointed obesity as a significant risk factor for several types of cancer. And not only does carrying extra weight increase your risks of these cancer, some studies have even shown that being overweight can interfere with certain cancer treatments, making them less effective. The link between obesity and cancer is undeniably of critical importance in the United States. With more than two-thirds of Americans obese or overweight, obesity has become a tremendous public health challenge that also impacts cancer care and prevention.
Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), one of the largest groups of cancer specialists in the United States, released a position statement on the impact of obesity in the development and treatment of cancer. The statement called for immediate action to be taken to slow the rise of obesity-related cancers in the country. According to the ASCO, it’s predicted that obesity will soon overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer in the United States, with nearly a half million Americans diagnosed with obesity-related cancers each year by 2030.
The statement lists better screening and treatments for obesity as the most critical steps in slowing the trend. Other steps included increased awareness and education about the links between obesity and cancer, development of new tools and resources for doctors and intensified and coordinated research. The final priority is policy and advocacy, including advocating for healthy community and workplace environments, and promoting access to and coverage for obesity screening, diagnosis, and treatment. You can read more about the position statement here.