Colon Cancer :: Colon Cancer linked to Obesity Leptin

Leptin a chemical produced by fat cells makes colon cancers grow faster, and obese people face a greater risk of developing colon cancer, revealed by researchers.

The study leader Dr. Kim Barrett said, “These results may explain why obesity increases a person’s risk of colonic cancer. The fact we have shown how leptin stimulates these cells means that drug companies may be in a better position to develop new treatments against the disease.”

Cancer of the colon is the disease characterized by the development of malignant cells in the lining or epithelium of the first and longest portion of the large intestine. Malignant cells have lost normal control mechanisms governing growth. These cells may invade surrounding local tissue or they may spread throughout the body and invade other organ systems.

Synonyms for the colon include the large bowel or the large intestine. The rectum is the continuation of the large intestine into the pelvis that terminates in the anus.

There are at least 100,000 cases of colon cancer diagnosed per year in the United States. Together, colon and rectal cancers account for 10% of cancers in men and 11% of cancers in women. It is the second most common site-specific cancer affecting both men and women.

The study conducted by the University of California, San Diego researchers and published in the British Journal of Surgery.

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