Obesity as a risk factor for certain types of cancer

Lipids. 1998 Nov;33(11):1055-9. doi: 10.1007/s11745-998-0305-8.


In conclusion, obesity has been associated with increased risk for a number of different types of cancer. The evidence has been most consistent for endometrial cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and renal cell cancer. More variable results have been reported for colorectal, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Possible mechanisms by which obesity may influence cancer risk include alteration in hormonal patterns, including sex hormones and insulin, and factors such as the distribution of body fat and changes in adiposity at different ages. The increasing prevalence of obesity in many parts of the world emphasizes the importance of learning more about the relationship between obesity and cancer and the mechanisms involved in their interaction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / etiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Risk Factors