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Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer
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Obesity and cancer

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Obesity and Cancer …

Obesity and Cancer

Short Analytical Essay
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Physiology
University of Ruhuna,galle.

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  • 1. Obesity and CancerShort Analytical EssayDepartment ofPhysiologyP.R.JayawickramaMD/2011/411434thbatch1
  • 2. ObesityObesity is a disorder of body weight regulatory systems characterized by an accumulation ofexcess body fat (1). In early ages in human civilizations, in which day today life required ahigh level of physical activity and food was only available intermittently, a genetic tendencyfavoring storage of excess calories as fat had a survival value. But, in modern era theabundance of food has encouraged people to eat much. This,with the combination of lessactivity levels found in developed countries,caused in a tendency for the sustained depositionof fat.The prevalence of obesity increases with age. As the obesity in the world has increasedso the risk of developing associated diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, andcardiovascular disease and also it increase the risk of cancer.Markers of the Obesity (1)*Body mass index* Body fat percentageWith the development of medicine they invented a standard scale for measuring obesity.so inthese days BODDY MASS INDEX (BMI) uses as the surrogate marker for body fat content,it is calculated as:2
  • 3. B M I = ( weight in kg ) / ( height in meters ) 2orB M I = ( weight in lb ) / ( height in inches ) 2× 703In use, The healthy range for the BMI is between 19.5 and 25.0.BMI between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2 is called overweight, and a BMI higher than 30 kg/m2 iscalled obese(2). But BMI is not a direct estimate of adiposity and doesn’t take consider thefact that some individuals have a high BMI due to a high amount of muscle mass. Because ofthis, the much better way to define obesity is to actually measure the percentage of total bodyfat. Obesity is usually defined as 25 per cent or greater total body fat in men and 35 per centor greater in women.METHODS OF ESTIMAING THE BODY FAT PERCENTAGE*measuring skin-fold thickness,*bioelectrical impedance,*underwater weighing,but above methods are very rarely used in general practice,and also there are debates onmethods like measuring skin fold thickness(3) ,so BMI is commonly used to assess obesity inclinics..CAUSSES FOR OBESITY1. Greater Energy Intake than Energy Expenditure.The main cause for obesity is Greater Energy Intake than Energy Expenditure(4).Whengreater quantities of energy (in the form of food and drinks) enter the body than the amountthat expended, the body weight rises,so most of the excess energy is stored as fat in the3
  • 4. adipose tissues,mainly in the form of triacylglecerols(5).so,excessive adiposity (obesity) iscaused by energy intake in excess of energy output. For each 9.3 Cals of excess energy thatuptake to the body, approximately 1g of fat is stored in adipose tissues.Fat is stored mainly inadipocytes in subcutaneous tissue and in the intraperitoneal cavity in the abdomen, althoughthe liver and other tissues of the body also store high amounts of lipids in obese individuals.also the amount of adipocytes are also rises with the weight gain.as a example an extremelyobese person may have as many as four times as many adipocytes, each containing twice asmuch lipid, as a lean person.when a person has become obese and a stable weight isgained,the energy uptake again equals to the energy output.so if a person need to loseweight,he or she should maintain energy intake lesser than the energy expenditure.2. Decreased Physical Activity and Abnormal Feeding Regulation as Causes of Obesity.Though genes play a vital role in determining food uptake and energy utilization,lifestyle andenvironmental issues also play the major role in many obese people.The rapid rise in theprevalence of obesity in the past few decades show the important role of lifestyle andenvironmental issuses.Because genetic changes couldnt have occurred so fast.3. Sedentary Lifestyle Is a Major Cause of Obesity.Regular physical training and physical exercises are known to increase muscle mass andreduce body fat mass,so inadequate physical activity is generally associated with reducemuscle mass and increased lipid content of the body.4
  • 5. 4. Psychological Factors which are Contribute to Abnormal Feeding.For example, people often gain large amounts of weight during or after stressfulsituations,such as the death of a parent, a severe illness or even mental depression.5. Childhood Over nutrition.6. Neurogenic Abnormalities as a Cause of Obesity.Individuals with hypophysial tumors that encroach on the hypothalamus often developprogressive obesity.7. Genetic Factors as a Cause of Obesity(6).We can often identify obese people within the same family background.though it has beendifficult to determine the exact role of genetics in contributing to obesity,scientists suggestthat 20% to 25% of cases of obesity may be caused by genetic factors.Genes can contribute to obesity by causing abnormalities of:* One or more of the pathways that regulate the feeding centers.* Energy expenditure and fat storage. There are three monogenic (single-gene) causes ofobesity.they are:* Mutations of MCR-4 -the most common monogenic form of obesity discovered thus far.* Congenital leptin deficiency caused by mutations of the leptin gene-which are very rare5
  • 6. * Mutations of the leptin receptor-also very rare.but these monogenic forms of obesity account for only a few percentage of obesity. It isunderstandable that the many gene variations interact with environmental factors to influencethe total amount and distribution of body fat.As discribed in the above obesity become a major health issue in the world, and it causes andenhance the ill effects of many disease conditions like*diabetes mellitus(DM)(7).*high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases,*strokes.* cancers.in the following segment im going to illustrate what are the co-relations between obesity andcancers.The relationship between obesity and cancerAccording to modern researches obesity is associated with high risks of many cancer types,like:1 ) breast cancers(mainly post menopause).2 ) cancers in the oesophagus.3 ) cancers in the pancreas.4 ) cancers in the colon and the rectum.6
  • 7. 5 ) cancers in the endometrium.6 ) cancers in the kidney.7 ) cancers in the tyhyroid.8 ) cancers in the gallbladder.to understand the co-relation between the cancer and obesity,there is a set of possiblemechanisms have been suggested by the scientists,they are;1 ) Adipose tissue manufactures high amounts of estrogen, high levels of which have beenco-related with the risk of breast(8),endometrial, and some other cancers.2 ) Fatty people usually have high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)in their plasma(this condition known as insulin resistance),this condition may help thedevelopment of certain tumors(9).3 ) Adipocytes manufacture hormones,known as adipokines,these hormones may stimulate orinhibit cell growth and function.as a example, leptin, which can find in higher amounts infatty people, seems to promote cell proliferation.4 ) Adipocytes can have direct and indirect effects on other tumor growth regulators,including mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and AMP-activated protein kinase.5 ) Fatty individuals usually have chronic low-level, or “sub acute,” inflammation, whichmay associated with higher risk of cancer.Also there are other possible mechanisms like,1 ) altered immune responses.7
  • 8. 2 ) effects on the nuclear factor kappa beta system.3 ) oxidative stress.in the following section I will discuss how the above pathophysiological mechanisms giverise to cancers.Dysfunctional Adipose TissueThough the main function of the adipose tissue is to store lipids but also they are highlyfunctioning endocrine and metabolic tissues.these tissues are consists of many cell types,such as adipocytes, pre-adipocytes, macrophages,fibroblasts,and also blood vessels.thesedifferent cells product number of adipokines, such as leptin, adiponectin, vascularendothelial growth factor (VEGF), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-6. ,and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1. As adipose tissue grow,the adipocytes growbigger and these adipose tissues start to manufacture above factors in high amounts.These obesity- corelted changes of adipose tissue metbolism are play a main role in thedevelopment of insulin resistance & the production of leptin which is a major co-relationbetween obesity and cancer,except that these factors also cause type 2 diabetes, and obesity-related cardiovascular diseases.8
  • 9. Insulin ResistanceInsulin resistance and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) -1 system may explain in part thelink between obesity and cancer. In insulin resistance, which is commonly associated withobesity,plasma insulin levels increase.Insulin enhance the effect of growth hormone (GH)receptors in the liver,and this causes a stimulation in production of IGF-1.Both insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) -1 are play a vital role in cancerdevelopment through binding with the insulin receptor (IR) and IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R).Insulin-like growth factor-1 can inhibit apoptosis and aid cell growth and developmentthrough several mechanisms(9).Also this unbalanced tissue environment aids the stepwise accumulation of genetic mutationsand it helps the carcinogenesis.modern studies have shown that individuals with high levels of insulin-like growth factor-1have an high risk of several cancer types,including postmenopausal breast cancer,prostatecancer,colorectal cancers. high levels of serum insulin is also a risk factor for breast cancer inwomen and also increases the risk of colorectal cancer and endometrial cancer.Further more,diabetes mellitus (D.M.), which is characterized by insulin resistance,is also associated withhigh risk of breast,pancreatic,colorectal cancers(9).So the Insulin resistance is play aprominent role in carcinogenesis(9) , and it is one of the major mechanisms shows the co-relation between obesity and cancer(9).AdipokinesAdipose tissue cells manufactures a variety of biochemical substances which act likehormones and cytokines,which are known as adipokines.Adipose tissue dysfunction as a9
  • 10. result of obesity unbalanced the serum levels of adipokines,this may cause to obesity-relatedcarcinogenesis.LeptinLeptin is a protein hormone,it is secreted by adipocytes in the adipose tissuses, and plays amajor role in regulating the energy balance,by regulating the metabolic rate.Levels of leptinare higher in obese individuals,. Though the findings of sciencetific studies of the relationshipbetween systemic leptin levels and breast or prostate cancer are inconsistent, but anassociation reported for colorectal cancer and for the endometrial cancer.Also many cancerssuch as colorectal, breast, and endometrial cancers overexpress the leptin receptorObR.studies have shown that leptin has mitogenic actions in the cancer cell lines,it vary onefrom other by the type of cancer.it stimulates the growt and development of the breast,theoesophagus, and the prostate cancer,But inhibits the growth of the malignent cells inpancreatic tissue.Though Mitogenic and anti-apoptotic functions of leptin described in both colon and prostatemlignent cells,represion of MAPK and PI3-K inhibited these effects,this shows that thesepathways underlie the growth-encouraging effects of leptin.In the above section we discussed how the obesity related pathophysiological mechanismsgive rise to cancers in a general aspect.in the following section I consider how the obesitycause for cancers in specific sites in the body.10
  • 11. Co-relation between obesity and breast cancer.Modern studies have shown that overweight and obesity are associated with a moderateincrease in risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in women. and mainly in women who havenever used menopausal hormone therapy(MHT) and for tumors that express bothprogesterone and estrogen receptors.The correlation between obesity and breast cancer may be affected by the age of her life inwhich she gain weight and becomes obese.Weight gain during adult life, most frequentlyfrom about age eighteen to between the ages of fifty and sixty, has been consistentlyassociated with higher risk of breast cancer after menopause.The higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer is thought to be due to higher levels ofestrogen in obese individuals.After the menopause,the ovaries stop producing hormones,andthen the adipose tissue becomes the most important source of estrogen.As a result of obesewomen have more adipose tissue,their estrogen levels are higher,and probably leading tofaster growth of estrogen-responsive breast tumors(8).According to the sciencetific studies the correlation between obesity and breast cancer riskmay also vary by ethnicity and race. There is rare evidence that the risk associated withoverweight and obesity may be less among African American and Hispanic women thanamong white women.Co-relation between obesity and colorectal cancers.In men,who have higher BMI is closely associated with elevated risk of colorectal cancer.Thedistribution of body fat appears to be an important factor in here,as a example people withabdominal obesity,show the strongest co-relation with colon cancer risk.11
  • 12. A co-relation between BMI and abdominal obesity with colon cancer risk is also identified inwomen, but it is weaker than in men.May be the use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)modify the association in postmenopausal women.Many mechanisms have been proposed to account for the co-relation between obesity withincreased colon cancer risk.One such mechanism is that elevated levels of insulin or insulin-related growth factors in fatty individuals may uphold colon cancer development.also the freeadipokines , free fatty acids and many other proinflammatory chemokines which releasedfrom the adipose tissue are known as factors which act a major role in regulatingcarcinogenesis(10).Though obesity is also related with rectal cancer risk,the increase in risk is lesser than thecolon cancer risk.Co-relation between obesity and endometrial cancers.Overweight and obesity is clearly related with endometrial cancers,which is cancer of thelining of the uterus in females.Obese and overweight females have 2 to 4 times greater risk ofdeveloping this disease than female with a normal BMI.Many reacherchs have also show that the risk of endometrial cancer is higher with elevatedweight gain in adultlife because some studies shows that there is a higher risk of having aendometrial cancer when a patient develop insulin resistance(11) specially in obeseindividuals ,and among women who do not use menopausal hormone therapy(MHT).Although it hasn’t yet been determined 100% how the obesity is a risk factor for endometrialcancer,some other studies shows the possibility in combination with low levels of physical12
  • 13. activity and elevated levels of estrogen manufactured by adipose tissue is co related withendometrial cancer.Co-relation between obesity and kidney cancers.Obesity and having high BMI has been markedly related with renal tissue cellcancer,according to the national cancer institute of USA it is the most commonly foundspecies of kidney cancer, in both males and females.The way that the obesity related to therenal cell cancers is not cleared.But the high blood pressure is regarded as a risk factor forrenal cell cancer,but according to the modern studies the co-relation between obesity andoverweight with kidney cancer is not dependent on blood pressure status.May be the highlevels of insulin,which found in obese people play a important role in the development ofthe renal cancers.Co-relation between obesity and oesophageal cancers.people with higher BMI are about two times as likely as people who have normal BMI tosuffer from a oesophageal cancer type known as oesophageal adenocarcinoma.But manystudies have observed no elevated risk, or even a decrease in risk, with high BMI for theother major type of oesophageal cancer,which is known as squamous cell cancer.The mechanisms by which high BMI may develop the risk of oesophageal adenocarcinomaare not well defined, but according to some studies there are links between IGF-1, high levelsof estrogen (12) with oesophagieal cancers(13).Also people who are with high BMI are more likely than people with normal BMI to have a13
  • 14. record of gastroesophageal reflux disease/Barrett esophagus.And they are related with anhigher risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.Co-relation between obesity and pancreatic cancers.Modern studies have identified a little increase in risk of pancreatic cancer among individualswith high BMI than the normal individuals. But the mechanism is not clear how the co-relation of overweight and obesity with pancreatic cancer development.also some studies shows that there is an increase in mortality rate with pancreatic cancerpatients who are obese(14) .Co-relation between obesity and thyroid cancers.Individuals with high BMI has been found to be associated with higher risk of thyroid cancer.It is not clear how this association develops.Co-relation between obesity and gallbladder cancers.The risk of gallbladder cancer is higher when the BMI is higher than the healthy range(15).The increase in risk may be due to the higher frequency of having gallstones in obese peoplethis is a risk factor for gallbladder cancers(15).14
  • 15. Co-relation between obesity and other types of cancers.The link between having high BMI and prostate cancer has been studied in deep, so when thestatistical data from numerous studies are pooled, analyses present that obesity may beassociated with a very little increase in the risk of having prostate cancers due to obesity.the bio medical link between the risk of prostate cancer and obesity is the higher levels ofsome hormones and growth factors, a major example is IGF-1.Also some other studies have shown a poor link between obesity and risk of having anovarian cancer, specially in premenopausal females, But other studies haven’t found an linkbetween them. As like as some other cancers, the link between ovarian cancer and increasedBMI may explained with the increased levels of estrogens.Also there are suspicions forassociation of obesity to liver cancers and to some species of leukemia and lymphoma.so now we can understand that there is a clear link between obesity and the cancer risk.thenext problem is how to overcome this and how to reduse the cancer risk.as result ofthousands of studies in this field medical professionals suggest that, it is a possibilityof reducing cancer risk by reducing obesity.in the following section I will what are thetreatments for obesity.15
  • 16. Treatments for ObesityTreatments for obesity mainly depend on reducing energy input below energy loss andmaking a relatively sustained negative energy balance until the needed weight loss isgained,or simply reducing energy uptake or increasing energy loss. To reduce energy uptake,most "reducing diets" are created to contain big quantities of “bulk”,that typically consist ofnon-nutritive cellulose or other substances which are cannot be digested.also ther are various drugs for reduce the degree of hunger and appetite as a treatment ofobesity.The most commonly used drugs are the amphetamines (or amphetaminederivative),these drugs directly inhibit the feeding centers in the human brain.One such drugin use for treating obesity is sibutramine, it is a sympathomimetic which decrease food uptakeand also increases energy wastage.But ther is a dark side in using these drugs,because thesedrugs can overexcite the central nervous system(CNS), making the patient nervous and risingthe blood pressure.Also,when the time passes patients adapt for the drug, so that weightreduction is usually a less amount,not higher than 5% to 10%. Also there is a another groupof drugs effect on lipid metabolism.As a example,orlistat,this is a lipase(enzyme that digestslipids) inhibitor, decrease the intestinal digestion of lipids.As result of this a considerableportion of the taken lipids with food is loss with the feces and as a result decreases the energyuptake.but this drug also has some disadvantages,as a example fat loss with fecal matter mayresult in unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects, also there is a waste of fat-solublevitamins( vit - A , vit - D , vit - E , vit - K ) with the feces.Also a patient can achieve a significant weight loss by increasing physical activity. Themorephysical exercise one gets, the energy expenditure become greater and as a result obesity16
  • 17. reduce. Therefore,physical exercise is an essential part of any treatment for obesity.So themodern clinical methods for the treatment of obesity highlights that the 1st step be lifestylechanges which includes increased physical exercises combined with a decrease in energy(food) intake. For morbidly obese patients with BMIs higher than fourty, or for patients withBMIs greater than thirty-five and with complications such as type II diabetes or hypertensionthat predispose them to other serious disease conditions,there are variety of surgical methodsare to use for reduce the fat mass of the body or to reduce the quantity of food that a personcan taken at each meal. Two of the most common surgical procedures used in the world as atreatment for morbid obesity are1 ) Gastric bypass surgery.2 ) Gastric banding surgery.Though these surgeries produce a considerable weight loss in obese and over weightpatients,these are major operations, and also there may be long-term effects on overall health.Summaryobesity is a major health problem in the modern world and it causes many ill effects onhuman life. As there are clear connections between obesity and other diseases obesity plays amajor role in carcinogenesis. Because of that we can reduce cancer risk in society bycontrolling obesity and adapting to a healthy lifestyle.17
  • 18. References1. Arthur C. Guyton,John E. Hall,Text book of Medical Physiology.11th edition. ©2006,Elsevier Inc.2. Richard A. Harvey, Denise F. Lippincott’s illustrated reviews biochemistry. Fifth edition.© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.3. McRae MP. Male and female differences in variability with estimating body fatcomposition using skinfold calipers. J Chiropr Med. 2010 Dec;9(4):157-61. Epub 2010 Oct 8.PubMed PMID: 22027106; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3206567.4.William F. Ganong, Review of medical physiology.21st edition. © 2003, Lange MedicalBooks/McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division5.Robert K. Murray, Daryl K. Granner, Victor W. Rodwell. Harper’s illustrated biochemistry.27th edition. © 2006, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.6. González-Jiménez E, Aguilar Cordero M, Padilla López C, García García I.[Monogenichuman obesity: role of the leptin-melanocortin system in the regulation of food intake andbody weight in humans.]. An Sist Sanit Navar. 2012 mayo-agosto;35(2):285-293. Spanish.PubMed PMID: 22948429.7.Parveen K, Michael C. Kumar & Clark’s clinical medicine. Seventh edition. @2009,Elsevier Limited.18
  • 19. 8. Brown KA, Simpson ER. Obesity and breast cancer: mechanisms and therapeuticimplications. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2012 Jun 1;4:2515-24. PubMed PMID:22652657.9. Arcidiacono B, Iiritano S, Nocera A, Possidente K, Nevolo MT, Ventura V, Foti D,Chiefari E, Brunetti A. Insulin resistance and cancer risk: an overview of the pathogeneticmechanisms. Exp Diabetes Res. 2012;2012:789174. Epub 2012 Jun 4. PubMed PMID:22701472; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3372318.10.Yehuda-Shnaidman E, Schwartz B. Mechanisms linking obesity, inflammation and alteredmetabolism to colon carcinogenesis. Obes Rev. 2012 Sep 3. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01024.x. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22937964.11.Mu N, Zhu Y, Wang Y, Zhang H, Xue F. Insulin resistance: a significant risk factor ofendometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Jun;125(3):751-7. Epub 2012 Mar23. Review.PubMed PMID: 22449736.12.Yang H, Sukocheva OA, Hussey DJ, Watson DI. Estrogen, male dominance andesophageal adenocarcinoma: is there a link? World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Feb7;18(5):393-400. Review. PubMed PMID: 22346245; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3270506.13.McColl KE. Serum IGF-1 linking visceral obesity with esophageal adenocarcinoma:unconvincing evidence. Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Feb;107(2):205-6.doi:10.1038/ajg.2011.421. PubMed PMID: 22306944.14.Kim HG, Han J. [Obesity and pancreatic diseases]. Korean J Gastroenterol. 2012Jan;59(1):35-9. Review. Korean. PubMed PMID: 22289952.15.Wang F, Wang B, Qiao L. Association between obesity and gallbladder cancer. FrontBiosci. 2012 Jun 1;17:2550-8. PubMed PMID: 22652797.19
  • 20. AcknowledgementI wish to thank our dear sir Dr.Mahinda Kommalage for all the advices andhis valuable time in completing this analytical essay.20

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