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Pink October: Relationship between obesity and the risk of breast cancer

Folha de Curitiba

Report with Dr. Andrea Pereira

Around 41 million Brazilians over the age of 18 are obese. By 2030, this number is expected to reach approximately 47 million people.

The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer in the Pink October campaign, and it is essential to reinforce that obesity is directly linked to the risk of developing breast cancer and 12 other types of cancer. This month focuses on highlighting this connection and promoting prevention through a healthy lifestyle.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is a well-established risk factor for several types of cancer. The classes associated with obesity, considered a chronic disease, include breast cancer (especially after menopause), ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, gallbladder cancer, thyroid cancer, multiple myeloma, stomach cancer, and gallbladder cancer.

The Clinical Nutrition Support Physician Dr. Andrea Pereira, the co-founder of the NGO Obesidade Brasil, explains the situation: "Several studies indicate that excess body weight is associated with an increased risk of developing various types of cancer, in addition to other health problems such as blood pressure high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, asthma, increased cholesterol, headache," says the specialist.

Awareness of this relationship is critical among women, as breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among them. Maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly are effective measures to reduce the risk of not only breast cancer but also these other types of cancer associated with obesity.

"In addition to healthy body weight, a balanced diet that prioritizes foods rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and reduces the consumption of ultra-processed foods and rich in sugar and fat, regular physical activity, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption and having routine exams are practices that help in the prevention and treatment of these diseases. Remembering that self-examination is always necessary, at any time of the year", says Dr. Andrea.

Bariatric surgery is also among the treatments for obesity and, according to recent studies, is one of the ways to reduce hypertension. "With bariatric surgery, we can treat obesity combined with other measures, and with weight controlled, the chances of cancer and other diseases are also reduced," says bariatric surgeon Dr. Carlos Schiavon, Teaching and Research Coordinator from the Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Center at BP – A Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo and co-founder of the NGO Obesidade Brasil.


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