Obesity Spurs Cancer Growth

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Everyone knows there is a never-ending list of the negative health effects associated with obesity: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea…, but what you may not know is there is also a link between obesity and cancer prognosis, particularly in why obese patients tend to have worse outcomes than leaner patients.

Recently published, Mikhail Kolonin, an associate professor at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, and his colleagues went about test their theory on obese and lean mice. ” Our earlier studies led us to hypothesize that fat tissue called white adipose tissue, which is the fat tissue that expands in individuals who are obese, is itself directly involved and that it is not just diet and lifestyle that are important,” Kolonin.

obese mouse

So far all initial findings have supported their hypothesis, where they concluded that tumors grew much faster in obese mice than lean mice even with the same diet.

The reasoning behind this is that cancer triggers adipose stomal cells to move into the blood stream. Eventually these cells will find their way to the tumor where some will become fat cells and others will become involved with the blood vessels in which feed nutrients to the tumor. Therefore, the more adipose stomal cells the more nutrients provided to the tumor, resulting in increased cancer growth.

Moral of the story, while diet and exercise may not be directly associated with cancer growth they do affect obesity and adipose tissue which increase tumor growth.

 

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