New Delhi: Body fat, known to trigger problems related to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, is also a potential cause of different types of cancer, experts believe.
"Excess fat leads to a high body mass index (BMI - the percentage of fat in proportion to weight and height of a person), which increases the risk of colon cancer by 55 percent," said Atul Peters, director of the Institute of Minimal Access, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at the Primus Super Speciality Hospital.
"Women with high BMI are susceptible to developing uterus or breast cancer by over 50 percent," Peters said.
In both the sexes, being obese increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus, kidney, gallbladder and pancreas, another expert said.
"Fat is considered to be a source of hormones such as estrogens. This hormone is responsible for endometrial and breast cancer," said PK Julka, professor at the Clinical Oncology department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
"Excess fat may also lead to out-of-control cell multiplication, which is basically triggered through high insulin-like growth factors. The balance of the immune system is disturbed," he added.
Peters said weight control can reduce cancer-related deaths by nearly 90,000 per year.