The incidence of overweight- and obesity-related cancers, excluding colorectal cancer, increased significantly among persons aged 20 to74 years between 2005 and 2014, according to a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

C. Brooke Steele, DO, from the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and colleagues gathered data from the US Cancer Statistics from 2005 to 2014 to assess trends for cancers associated with overweight and obesity. Cancers included adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, breast cancer (in postmenopausal women), colon and rectum, endometrium, gallbladder, gastric cardia, kidney, liver, ovary, pancreas, and thyroid, as well as meningioma and multiple myeloma, and were analyzed by sex, age, race/ethnicity state, geographic region, and cancer site.

In 2014, approximately 631,604 persons in the United States had a diagnosis of an overweight- or obesity-related cancer, representing 40% of all cancers diagnosed. Overweight- and obesity- related cancer incidence rates were higher among older patients (ages ≥50 years) than younger patients, females than males, and non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white adults than in other groups. Excluding colorectal cancer, incidence rates for overweight-and obesity-related cancers increased significantly among persons aged 20 to 74 years, decreased among those aged ≥75 years, increased in 32 states, and were stable in 16 states and Washington, DC.

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“The burden of overweight- and obesity-related cancers might be reduced through efforts to prevent and control overweight and obesity,” the authors stated. “Comprehensive cancer control strategies, including use of evidence-based interventions to promote healthy weight, could help decrease the incidence of these cancers in the United States.”


Steele CB, Thomas CC, Henley SJ, et al. Vital signs: Trends in incidence of cancers associated with overweight and obesity – United States, 2005-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 3;66(39). doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6639e1