Specialists say obesity doubles a woman's risk of developing colon cancer or tumors that can lead to colon cancer, WebMD Medical News reports.
A study that included more than 1,200 women shows that obesity is the highest risk factor for this disease.
Women who smoke a lot or those over 69 are also at increased risk of precancerous polyps or colon cancer. Both factors roughly double the risk of tumors or cancer.
The specialists examined data from 1,252 women who underwent colonoscopy. About 10% had cancer, multiple polyps or large or abnormal tumors that would normally lead to cancer if not removed.
The researchers say that 20% of these tumors occur because of obesity, and after the age of 69, 16%. Smoking is the cause of 15% of tumors. However, in women who smoke less or quit smoking the risk is lower.
Specialists recommend that all obese women go to their doctor often to be monitored for colorectal cancer. They also draw attention to the fact that women should be tested starting at a younger age.
October 16, 2007