Obesity can cause pancreatic cancer in adults

Obesity is a term used to describe body weight that is much greater than what is considered healthy. There are many ways to determine if a person is obese, but experts believe that a person's body mass index (BMI) is the most accurate measurement of body fat for children & adults. Adults with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 are considered obese. Adults with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight.

Obesity is known to increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, a particularly aggressive type of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is slightly more common in men than in women. But a new study suggests the risk is greatest among people who were already overweight during their teenage years or obese during the age of 20 yrs. & 30yrs. The cause is unknown, but it is more common in smokers & in people who are obese. Almost a third of cases of pancreatic cancer are due to cigarette smoking.

Adults who were overweight as teens were twice as likely as similar adults who had never been overweight to develop pancreatic cancer later in life. On the other hand people who were obese as young adults were at more than twice the risk of adults who had never been obese. There is controversy as to whether type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

Donghui Li, a professor of cancer medicine said, “That is an important finding, because it tells us that weight control at a younger age is really important if we want to reduce the risk of this disease.” Smoking & diabetes also increased the risk of pancreatic cancer, with obesity accounting for 27 % of cases & smoking for one-quarter of all cases.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer:

* Abdominal pain
* Back pain
* Clay-colored stools
* Depression
* Diarrhea
* Fatigue
* Indigestion
* Jaundice
* Loss of appetite
* Nausea and vomiting
* Paleness
* Weakness


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