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Increased Adiposity and Colorectal Cancer

Chapter

Abstract

It has been clinically well established in the last years that obesity and obesity-related disorders, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes, are characterized by an increased risk of developing colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer. All other things equal, this risk appears to be strongest with an increased waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratios compared to one’s body mass index. In addition, obese men seem to be more at risk for colon cancer than obese women. Interestingly, among colon cancer patients, epidemiologic studies suggest that obesity is also associated with increased rates for death and disease relapse compared to patients of normal weight. The increased risk of cancer in the obese suggests that weight loss could reduce this risk or improve survival in individual diagnosed with colon cancer, but this remain to be fully investigated. Importantly, the associations between anthropometric measurements and cancer are very clinically relevant as it might affect our colon cancer screening strategies suggesting screening certain populations earlier than recommended for the general population. The pathophysiology behind this association is still not understood but might involve mediators derived from the adipose tissue. Obesity is commonly associated with adipose tissue inflammation, systemic inflammation, and release of numerous adipocytokines into the circulation. An imbalance in these fundamentally important adipose tissue-derived factors could contribute to disease manifestation beyond the adipose tissue including colorectal cancer. Cells other than adipocytes, including adipose stromal cells and monocytes accumulating in adipose tissue, have surfaced as important contributors to the adipocytokine pool. Finally, recently discovered trafficking of adipose stromal cells suggests paracrine adipocytokine signaling in tumor microenvironment.

Keywords

Colon Cancer White Adipose Tissue Distal Colon Adenomatous Polyp Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Christian Doppler Research Laboratory for Gut InflammationMedical University InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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