Agurs-Collins T. Epidemiologic evidence linking weight loss and cancer prevention and control. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2021; Nov. 1-5, 2021 (virtual meeting).
Agurs-Collins reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Weight-loss interventions may reduce risks for some cancers, cancer mortality and recurrence for people with obesity, according to a speaker at ObesityWeek 2021.
Tanya Agurs-Collins, PhD, RD, program director of the health behavior research branch in the division of cancer control and population sciences at the National Cancer Institute, said some studies have found weight loss may have a protective effect against some cancers and could lower the risk for recurrence, but most of the evidence has come from studies not powered to evaluate associations between weight-loss interventions and cancer-specific outcomes.
Agurs-Collins is program director of the health behavior research branch in the division of cancer control and population sciences at the National Cancer Institute.
“There is a need for long-term randomized clinical trials to evaluate the effects of intentional weight loss on reducing cancer risk, as well as the need to measure body composition instead of just focusing on BMI,” Agurs-Collins said during the presentation.
Obesity increases risk for most cancers
Agurs-Collins described obesity as a disease affecting every part of the cancer control continuum. Men with severe obesity have a 52% higher risk for cancer death and women with severe obesity a 62% higher risk compared with those with normal weight. There is also convincing or probable evidence that weight gain or body fatness increases the risks for 13 types of cancer in adults. A study published in Scientific Reports in 2014 found the risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women increased with each 1 kg/m2increase in BMI.
Agurs-Collins said increased inflammation, sex-steroid hormones, growth factors and insulin resistance in obesity all lead to pathways that encourage cancer cell promotion and progression.
“There are opportunities for weight loss to reverse these negative or molecular pathways that influence cancer risk,” Agurs-Collins said. “This suggests that we need weight-loss interventions to reverse these effects.”
Weight loss and cancer risk
Few studies have examined whether changes in body weight are associated with cancer risk. In …….