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    Obesity Accounts for 500,000 Cancer Cases in 2012: Study

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    Accounting for 111,000 of the new cases, North America carries 23 percent of the global obesity linked cancer burden. While in Africa the cancer-obesity link remained low with 7,300 cases in 2012.

    MOSCOW, November 26 (Sputnik) – Nearly half a million cases of cancer diagnosed for the first time in 2012 were linked to obesity, with the majority of those cases in developed countries, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said in a report Wednesday.

    "Overweight and obesity have become a major risk factor, responsible for an estimated 3.6% (481 000) of all new cancer cases in 2012," the report published on the organization's website stated.

    IARC's study outlined that 393,000 cases were from developed countries with North America most affected. Accounting for 111,000 of the new cases, North America carries 23 percent of the global obesity linked cancer burden. While in Africa the cancer-obesity link remained low with 7,300 cases in 2012.

    Furthermore, women are much more affected by obesity related cancer than men. While women accounted for 5.3 percent of the affected population, men accounted for just 1.9 percent.

    "Women are disproportionately affected by obesity-related cancers. For example, for postmenopausal breast cancer, the most common cancer in women worldwide, the study suggests that 10% of these cancers could have been prevented by having a healthy body weight," lead author of the study Dr. Melina Arnold, was quoted as saying in the report.

    Based on the findings, IARC director Dr. Christopher Wild said the number of obesity related cancers was expected to rise all over the world alongside economic development.

    "This study stresses the importance of putting in place efficient weight control measures, to curb the high number of cancers associated with excess body weight and to avoid the problems faced by rich countries being repeated in those now undergoing rapid development," he said.

    IARC is the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization.

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    health, obesity, cancer, World Health Organization (WHO)
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