Preventing Colon and Rectal Cancer in Obese Men

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Obesity and Colon Cancer In Men.

Colon cancer is still a major threat to all adults in Los Angeles and all cities across the United States, no matter the age or gender. But it’s becoming clearer now that if you are obese and male, your chances of developing colon cancer are greater than average. While this may sound dire when so many in our population are overweight, this issue is shedding light on some prevention strategies.  The first strategy is colon screening.  A proctologist, or  colon and rectal surgeon, will recommend colon screening, most often by asking you to undergo a colonoscopy to look for, and remove any polyps that might lead to the development of colorectal cancer.

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Colon Cancer And Obesity.  Hormonal?

With recent studies completed at Michigan State University, a discovery was found that shed light on why obese men were more apt to develop colon cancer. It was  known for years that obesity increased risk of colon cancer, yet no one knew why.

Now. it has been shown that a fat hormone named leptin was elevated in these men. The bigger their waistline became, the more leptin was created, which increased the risk of developing cancer. More precisely, colorectal polyps, the precursors to colorectal cancer formed more often in obese men with elevated leptin levels.

Yes, there is good news coming from this discovery. While the fight against obesity may seem like an uphill battle, the discovery of how leptin works may help researchers discover biomarkers for determining who might need to undergo more frequent colon surveillance with colonoscopy.

Can Obese Men Be Helped By these Findings?

If doctors can find biomarkers in obese men, early in life, colonoscopies may be recommended much earlier to help track colon health. An early colonoscopy can help monitor baseline health and stop the development of potential colorectal cancer before it gets started. Finding and removing colorectal polyps early will help to remove the threat of colorectal cancer.  And while other issues might develop as a result of obesity, having a better chance to eliminate colorectal cancer is tremendously encouraging.

It’s clear, though, that diet can also play a major factor in why those polyps show up in obese men. What can obese men do to help prevent polyps from developing in the first place?

The Diet Connections to Colon Cancer

Physicians remind us that diet remains one of the central suspects in the cause of colon cancer.  Men who eat too much red meat (and processed meats) are noted to be more vulnerable to developing colon cancer. Cooking meats at high temperatures is also known for increasing the risk.

Along with alcohol abuse and smoking, obese men need to take the initiative in improving their health. Even if not all obese men necessarily eat red or processed meats, working to streamline their diet and working on an exercise program will be of great benefit in the long run.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

To learn more about the ways in which to lower the risks of colorectal cancer,  make an appointment to see one of the surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.  Your appointment will be thorough and confidential.  There is more information available online at the office website.  Or, call (310)273-2310.

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