Indians are more prone to oesophageal and other types of cancer due to obesity resulting from sedentary lifestyle and improper food habits as well as alcohol intake, according to medical experts.
Increase in the population affected by obesity, coupled with enhanced intake of alcohol by Indians is now posing a serious health hazard with people suffering from various forms of cancer, according to Dr M G Bhat, Bangalore-based doctor specialising in Bariatric surgery and Surgical Gastroenterology.
"Obesity is associated with increased risks of various types of cancers such as oesophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, breast (after menopause), endometrium (lining of the uterus), kidney, thyroid and gallbladder and many more possibly," said Bhat, who is also associated with Manipal Hospital and Apollo Spectra Hospitals in Bangalore.
Dr Shashank Shah, noted Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon attached to Hinduja Healthcare here, said obesity is rising in India as a part of global epidemic, however, Indians being more obese, the abdominal obesity is more prevalent.
"Habits like tobacco and spices can add to reflux. The association of reflux and obesity is on rise in India and diagnosis is frequently done with endoscopy available. Hence, the treatment algorithm for reflux disease in obese people is changing to aggressive treatment of obesity since obesity is known to be the major contributory factor," he said.
According to Bhat, "Fat tissues produce oestrogen, and its high levels enhance the risk of breast and endometrial cancers. Similarly, often increased insulin or insulin like growth factors present in higher levels in obese people may promote certain types of tumors such as Leptin."
A recently concluded new global research by American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has established that an overweight person carries a great risk of developing the most common type of oesophageal cancer, while drinking alcohol increases the risk of the second major type of this cancer.