Overweight and obesity were responsible for 124,000 new cancers in Europe in 2008, the results of a modelling study suggest. The proportion of new cancers attributable to a BMI of 25kg/m2 or more was highest among women and in central European countries.

In men, 3.2 per cent of new cancers could be attributed to overweight/obesity, and in women, 8.6 per cent. Endometrial (33,421 cases), postmenopausal breast (27,770) and colorectal (23,730) cancers accounted for 65 per cent of all cancers attributable to excess BMI. In the UK, new cases of obesity-related oesophageal cancer accounted for 54 per cent of those across all 30 countries.

Renehan A. Obesity and overall cancer risk. Abstract I-327. Eur J Cancer Suppl 2009;7(2):79

Originally published in the December 2009 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.