Cancer rates are higher than ever and projected to continue climbing. It’s no surprise that many Americans are concerned about ways to prevent it. Based on 2010-2012 data, approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. While a variety of factors can influence this, such as genetics or environment, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report has stated that 40 percent of all U.S. cancer diagnoses can now be linked to overweight and obesity. The statistics are direr for women, as 55 percent of all cancer diagnoses in women are associated with overweight and obesity. (Download the free white paper “The Link between Women, Obesity, and Cancer.”) With nearly two-thirds of American adults currently defined as overweight, future prospects for reducing cancer rates don’t look good without first addressing obesity.
Many are unaware of the links between cancer and obesity, so when discussing cancer risk, weight may not even enter the conversation between doctor and patient. But the numbers are troubling: The findings link nearly 630,000 of the 2014 cancer diagnoses to obesity. And while these cancers increased by seven percent from 2005 to 2014, the rates of non-obesity related cancers dropped. Clearly conversations about other cancer risks appear to be helping… but why aren’t providers talking more about obesity as a cancer prevention strategy?
Amid these recent findings, the CDC is urging health care providers to begin addressing cancer risk specifically by supporting patients to manage their weight. For patients who have a significant amount of weight to lose and a high Body Mass Index (BMI), evidence-based medical weight loss solutions can often be the most effective way to get the weight off and jumpstart the process, in addition to introducing behavioral and lifestyle changes.
Addressing weight loss may seem like new and unfamiliar territory to many physicians, and with reason. But getting started and gaining momentum doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Read more about how other doctors have not only improved the conditions and lives of their patients, but also built thriving practices with weight loss as a primary service, such as Dr. Valerie Sutherland, who left her job at a large health care institution to pursue weight management full time after seeing the enormous benefits in her patients. (Read Dr. Sutherland’s story.)
As of right now, the best solution for cancer that we know of is prevention, and prevention requires doctors to be proactive and direct about their patients’ most pressing health problems — especially obesity. To learn more about the impact of obesity on women’s cancer risk, download our free white paper “The Link Between Obesity, Women and Cancer.” Or contact us today to talk more about how Robard can support your efforts!