Newly compiled data suggest that “excess body fat alone is responsible for more than 100,000 cancer cases in the U.S.” The report comes from the American Institute for Cancer Research, which said its data included cases of endometrial, esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, gallbladder, breast and colorectal cancer.
No one has pinned down exactly how body fat might increase cancer risk. Researcher Laurence Kolonel explains that fat isn’t just sitting around waiting to be drawn on when your body’s starving. In fact, he says, there are “all kinds of things going on in fat tissue,” including production of estrogen and other cancer-promoting hormones. Fat tissue also contributes to inflammation, an established cancer precursor, he says.