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Lose a Few Pounds to Lower Cancer Risk

Losing weight lowers cancer riskWomen: if you’re overweight or obese, shedding just 10 percent of your weight might reduce your overall cancer risk. The goal is to lower levels of inflammation in the body, and for some women losing even five percent might do the trick. Inflammation has been linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases, and obesity drives inflammation and is a risk factor for a number of types of cancer including colon, breast, esophageal and pancreatic. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that weight loss in combination with regular exercise resulted in a drop of almost 42 percent in C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation in the body. The weight loss and exercise also resulted in a 24 percent decrease of interleukin-6, a protein that regulates immune function. These markers for inflammation also fell in women who lost weight but did not exercise (but not in those who exercised but didn’t lose weight). Weight loss without exercise lowered CRP 36.1 percent and interleukin-6 by 23.1 percent.

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