Obesity is set to overtake tobacco as the global leading cause of cancer, according to recent reports from the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference.
Research from the University of Leeds adds an increase in cases of male breast cancer to the growing list of cancers associated with rising obesity rates.
Fat cells contain enzymes that convert male hormones into female hormones. Therefore, men with higher levels of fat—body mass index higher than 25—have a higher levels of female hormones in their blood.
The researchers also observed cholesterol can be converted into a compound that mimics the activity of estrogen. Obese men tend to higher cholesterol levels, so they have more of estrogen-mimicking compound in their blood as well.
Researchers report that more than 90% of male breast cancers have cell surface receptors that recognize female hormones and use them to grow. The increased number of overweight and obese people is one of the most worrying global public health issues.
The researchers stress that obesity is a preventable condition and encourage men to take steps to reduce their risks of obesity-associated diseases, especially men with a family history of BRCA mutation.
Researchers at the University of Leeds have found a possible association between the rise in obesity and the increase in cases of male breast cancer.