Did you know that obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking?
Being overweight or obese significantly increases your risk of 13 cancers. These include: breast, bowel, oesophageal, ovarian, kidney, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, myeloma, meningioma, thyroid, gastric cardia, and uterine cancers.
How being overweight increases your cancer risk
The exact reason why being overweight or obese makes you more likely to develop these cancers is not yet fully understood, but we know there is a very clear link between the two.
Excess body fat (especially toxic fat around the waist and vital organs) leads to more chemicals and hormones being released into the body.
Having an excess of these chemicals and hormones mean that your cells might not divide correctly and they might produce abnormal cells.
The production of these abnormal cells make cancer more likely to grow. Read our Cancer & Obesity Fact Sheet to learn more.
5 tips to reduce your risk
- Avoid sugary drinks
- Limit junk food
- Eat more vegetables and fruit
- Be active everyday
- Avoid alcohol
About one third of cancers are preventable by making simple lifestyle changes.
Regardless of your weight or shape, eating well and being active reduces your risk of 13 cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Want to learn more about cancer causes and reducing your risk? Visit www.cancerwa.asn.au/prevention.
Debunking common cancer myths
Despite evidence showing lifestyle-related risk factors are the main known causes of cancer, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. We debunk some of the common cancer myths and controversies myths here.