Cancer

“Sudden Weight Loss? 10% in 2 Years May Signal Cancer Risk — Consult Doctor Now” | by Drparkhanna | Jan, 2024

A new study found that losing more than 10% of your body weight unintentionally over the past two years significantly increases your risk of being diagnosed with cancer within the next year.

Dr. Brian Wolfin of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) said in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Jan. 24th, 2024 that a follow-up of 157,000 medical workers for up to 38 years showed a significantly higher risk of cancer diagnosis within a year if their weight was unintentionally reduced by more than 10%.

In this study, the research team followed up with 157,474 participants in two large-scale longitudinal studies from 2016, including a nurse health study of nurses aged 30 to 55 from 1976 and a medical expert follow-up study of male medical experts aged 40 to 75 from 1986.

Participants reported their weight through a questionnaire containing questions about physical activity every two years, and also answered questions about diet changes every four years. The research team classified the participants’ weight loss behavior into “high, medium, and low” groups based on diet and physical activity information.

For a total of 1.64 million people (one person is a one-year observation of one person), follow-up observations showed 15,809 cases (964 cases per 100,000 people) of cancer.

In the past two years, 1,362 people per 100,000 people were diagnosed with cancer within 12 months, 493 cases per 100,000 people were higher than those who did not lose weight (869 cases per 100,000 people).

The number of cancer cases in participants who had no intention of losing weight but lost more than 10% of weight was 2,687 per 100,000 people, more than twice the number of cancer cases (1,220 per 100,000 people) in participants who did not lose weight.

Among the cancers, upper gastrointestinal cancers such as esophagus, stomach, liver, biliary tract, and pancreas were particularly common. Participants with more than 10% weight had 173 cases of upper gastrointestinal cancer per 100,000 people, nearly five times more than participants (35 cases per 100,000 people) who did not lose weight.

In addition, weight loss was found to be associated with increased risk of blood cancer such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia, as well as colon cancer and lung cancer. However, it was not found to be associated with increased risk of cancer such as breast cancer, genital cancer, brain cancer, and melanoma.

“Unexpected weight loss can be caused by cancer or a number of other conditions,” Wolfin said. “Losing weight due to exercise or a healthy diet helps health, but if you unintentionally give weight, you should consult your doctor to determine if you need to test for other causes such as cancer.”
◆ ◆ Source: JAMA, Brian Wolpin et al., ‘Cancer Diagnoses After Recent Weight Loss’, http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2023.25869


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