Study Links Multiple Myeloma to Obesity

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine links obesity with 13 cancers, including multiple myeloma (MM). The study was conducted by a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. After assessing more than 1,000 clinical studies, the following 13 cancers were linked to obesity, which together make up 42 percent of all new cancer diagnoses:

  • MM
  • adenocarcinoma of the esophagus
  • colorectal cancer
  • breast cancer in postmenopausal women
  • uterine cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • gastric cardia
  • liver cancer
  • gallbladder cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • thyroid cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • meningioma

“The burden of cancer due to being overweight or obese is more extensive than what has been assumed,” said the chair of the study, Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. “Many of the newly identified cancers linked to excess weight haven’t been on people’s radar screens as having a weight component.”

Sources: The New York Times, August 24, 2016; Science Daily, August 24, 2016.

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