Israeli researchers have just discovered that being overweight in teenage increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by four times in comparison with people with regular weight.
Pancreatic cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and obesity is suspected as one of the factors that contribute to pancreatic cancer development. Researchers at the Rabin Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, have decided to see at what age overweight would influence the risk of cancer cells developing in the pancreas during adulthood. According to the results, published in the journal Cancer today, the risk would increase up to fourfold in obese teenagers.
Inflammation promotes cancer cells development
For this study, the researchers analyzed data from 1,087,358 men and 707,212 women, all aged between 16 and 19 years, which had mandatory medical examinations between 1967 and 2002. Over the 23 years of research, 551 cases of pancreatic cancer were reported among the study participants (423 males and 128 females). By comparing the weight of patients, the researchers noted a four times higher risk of pancreatic cancer in overweight and obese teenagers in comparison with all the other subjects with a healthy weight.
For the time being, no conclusions can be drawn, as the researchers only find the link between overweight or obesity and pancreatic cancer, but how is weight influencing the cancer cell growth in the pancreas is yet to be found out. The researchers believe that the inflammation caused by obesity would lead to the development of cancer cells, but more analysis needs to be done.
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating cancer
Whenever possible, surgical treatment is first proposed in cases of pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, the tumor is not always available for surgery, so chemotherapy is the next therapy.
The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is not good, with survival not exceeding a few months after its diagnosis. Palliative treatments are then put in place to improve the patients’ comfort of life, as pancreatic cancer causes severe pain and profound and rapid alteration of the general state of health. It is one of the most devastating cancers.