Some previous studies have shown a link between a person’s dietary habits and the risk of cancer development. It suggests that a lesser-known factor that contributes to the development of cancer worldwide is obesity.
Approximately 20 percent of all the cancers in the U.S. have linked to obesity, poor nutrition, physical inactivity or excessive alcohol consumption. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight and obese, making this an important topic for people living with cancer.
Scientists said that it’s not only the risk of developing cancer that is affected by the food, but diet may have a substantial impact on how a person will respond to any treatment for cancer. Still, it is difficult to take any clinical decisions while treating cancer patients.
The recent review authored by Dr. Barrie Peck from the Structural Biology Group at The Institutional of Cancer Research; London is published in the journal Trends in Cancer.
Dr. Peck said it is known that obesity is the major cause of cancer but there is also the role of diet and weight in one’s life which affects the course of disease and response to treatment.
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Usually, the response shown by obese patients to cancer treatments is worse as compared to non-obese patients. As a result, obese people show more severe outcomes than people who have normal weight. But still, the researchers are not in a state to take any clinical decision for such patients based on their obesity status.
When damage occurs to DNA then cancer develops in the body at a particular site. The damage can be transformed in different forms but all lead to abnormal division of cells and due to this uncontrolled replication of cells, cancer results.
Cancerous cells undergo all other types of changes that enable them to survive in the body such as they alter energy sources, change their processes and renew themselves in different and unusual ways. Sometimes cancers development can be detected before it appears in the body.
What is the role of food in developing cancer? A common idea states that obesity puts a person at an increased risk of developing cancer so far scientists carried out a little research to assess the impact of food on cancer development.
Dr. Peck said that smokers are at a higher risk to develop lung cancer and this risk is reduced in the non-smoker because smoking is the main element that puts a person at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
In the above-mentioned case, it’s a better option to stop smoking for avoiding lung cancer but in the case of obesity, cessation of eating is not possible for someone and it’s not the valid advice for treating an obese cancer patient.
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Scientists have not much knowledge about how to modify a diet for obese patients that will give the best results for cancer treatments. As obesity increases the risk of getting cancer so the most appropriate therapy for these people is to reduce the weight to a healthier level so that it put them at a lower risk of developing cancer.
The reduction of weight in diseased patients is not achieved by those typical dietary modifications. In fact, those dietary changes could induce the opposite and negative effects on the body.
It is a common idea that antioxidants found in “superfruits” prevent a person from getting cancer so people should eat a lot of fruits in order to get antioxidants but research showed that this practice is wrong as it produces the negative effects when a person is receiving treatment.
Because when a person who is receiving any treatment for cancer takes a high level of antioxidants, it hinders the action of the drug in the body. Researchers said that more investigations are needed in this field that why antioxidants stop the drug’s ability to do its action.