Teenagers, males in particular, who are overweight may face the plight of colorectal cancer. Medscape said that studies have shown that teenagers who have a lot of excess weight on them are over twice as likely to have colorectal cancer by middle age. Medical News Today said that studies have been conducted in the United States and Sweden. The article continued by saying that males who have systemic inflammation may be more prone to develop this type of cancer later in their life.
Colorectal cancer is also known as bowel cancer and this type is the third most common kind of cancer in the United States for both males and females. The study revealed that approximately 93,000 cases of colon cancer would be reported this year and around 40,000 reports of colorectal are expected to be diagnosed this year as well. Studies past and present have shown a tie between obesity and colorectal cancer.
In the past, the article stated, studies have shown an association between obesity and systemic inflammation with colorectal cancer. The study pointed out that obese individuals were more likely to develop this type of cancer. Only a few studies have actually investigated how obesity and systemic inflammation during the teenage years affects the risk of the disease much later in life.
Researchers monitored 239,658 Swedish men who had enlisted in the military between 1969 and 1976. These men were between the ages of 16 and 20 when their enlistment assessment was conducted. During the assessment, the men had their height and weight checked and recorded. They also had their erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which measures the inflammation in the body, checked. These men were being monitored until 2010 and there was a noticeable link between the men who had been overweight and the development of colorectal cancer. The men who had been obese or overweight in their adolescence were twice as likely to develop the illness. Those that were recorded as having a healthy weight did not appear to be as prone to developing the disease as those who were highly overweight, Medical Daily said. A total of 885 Swedish men were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
The researchers are unsure about what causes the link between adolescent obesity and inflammation and colorectal cancer later in life. Medical News Today did say that they are certain that more research on this subject needs to be conducted. The team feels that further investigations can only help to better explain the link and how obesity seems to increase the colorectal cancer risk. The team addressed in the article how their study was limited in a way, so additional findings will hopefully make things more clear. One aspect that the team would like to see cleared up is whether or not weight loss in adulthood could alter the potential risk of developing the disease. The researchers have never addressed this in their study directly, so it is their hope that future investigations will delve into this.
The team wishes to investigate in the future how obesity in teenage females affects the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Past studies have shown that obese teenage females are not as likely to develop this type of cancer as males. Researchers stated that additional research needs to be performed in this area to be sure that the situation has not changed and that the former research findings still hold true. A recent study did show that obese women are 40 percent more likely to develop certain forms of cancer than women who are of a healthy weight.
The Latin Post also said that additional research needs to be conducted but there is a clear link between teenage obesity in males and colorectal cancer. New investigations may even be able to find a link between obesity and other cancers. Regardless of the findings, more research in this area is a must according to the article. Past and present studies do show that overweight teens may face the plight of colorectal cancer at some point in their life.
By Heather Granruth
The Latin Post: Overweight Teenagers Twice as Likely at Risk of Having Colorectal Cancer in Middle Age
Medscape: Obesity and Colorectal Cancer
Medical News today: Teenage obesity may increase risk of colorectal cancer in later-life
Medical Daily: Childhood Obesity Doubles Risk For Bowel Cancer Later In Life
Photo Courtesy of Steve Beshear’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Gaulsstin’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License