Obesity causes rise in cancer

MORE women than ever before are suffering womb cancer because of a rise in obesity, a Sheffield expert has warned.

Thursday, 20th September 2007, 10:03 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd September 2007, 5:33 pm

Concerns are growing about the rise in endometrial cancer which strikes women after the menopause and is most commonly found in those who are obese.

The disease is diagnosed in around 6,000 women each year in the UK – and that is rising because people are getting fatter.

Alan Gillespie, consultant gynaecologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, has treated 30 women in the first half of this year – the same as during the whole of 2004.

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And he expects to see the numbers rise further over the coming years.

He warned: "Obese women are two or three times more likely to get endometrial cancer."

The women seen in Sheffield have other health problems linked to their weight such as heart disease and diabetes and many are at an increased risk of complications after surgery such as deep vein thrombosis.

Mr Gillespie warned women to be vigilant and added: "It can be curable and if caught early survival after five years is about 75 per cent, but don't ignore menstrual problems or bleeding after the menopause."

The average age of women affected is 65, but patients range from their 40s to their 80s.

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