Skip to main content

Medical News by ATC

How unexpected weight loss can sometimes be an indicator of cancer

How unexpected weight loss can sometimes be an indicator of cancer

Experts say rapid, unexpected weight loss can be a
sign of cancer as well as other health issues.

In a new study, researchers report that health
professionals who lost weight without starting a diet or exercise plan within
the previous two years had a significantly higher risk of developing cancer
within the following year.

Upper gastrointestinal tract, hematologic, colorectal,
and lung cancers were more common in people with rapid unexpected weight loss.

Experts say people with an unexplained or unexpected
weight loss of 5% or more of their body weight should see their primary care

Health professionals who had unexpected weight loss in
the previous two years had a significantly higher risk of developing cancer
during the subsequent 12 months compared to those who did not have recent
weight loss, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Network.

Unintentional weight loss is losing weight without
changing your diet or beginning an exercise program. The study looked at a 10%
or greater weight loss in the healthcare professionals.

Researchers analyzed data from the Nurse’s Health
Study and the Health Professional’s Follow-Up Study to identify recent weight
loss with a subsequent cancer risk. There were 157,474 participants with a
median age of 62.

The scientists noted that previous studies showed an
association between weight loss and a cancer diagnosis.

Cancers Associated With Rapid Weight Loss

Of the cancers associated with recent weight loss,
researchers reported that upper gastrointestinal tract cancer was the most

Other types of cancer, including hematologic,
colorectal, and lung cancers, were also found to be more common in those who
had recently experienced unintentional weight loss.

The risk of cancer was higher during the first 12
months after weight loss compared to 24 months afterward.

Breast, genital, urinary, and brain cancers as well as
melanoma were not associated with weight loss.

 Other health conditions that can also cause rapid
weight loss.

The potential other causes include:

-      Gallstones

-      Poor

-      Electrolyte

-      Acute

-      Constipation

While quickly losing weight may sound appealing,
experts say making long-term sustainable changes to eating habits and activity
provides many health benefits.

 Being overweight increases the risk of certain cancers

Being overweight increases the risk of developing 13
types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 The 13 types of cancer are:

1.     Adenocarcinoma
of the esophagus

2.     Breast
cancer in women who went through menopause

3.     Colon
and rectum

4.     Uterine

5.     Gallbladder

6.     Upper

7.     Kidneys

8.     Liver

9.     Ovarian

10. Pancreatic

11. Thyroid

12. Meningioma

13. Multiple

Scientists say that obesity and being overweight might
cause changes in the body, including long-lasting inflammation, that could lead
to cancer.

  • Share