Experts have found that women who have been overweight for at least a decade are more likely to become ill with cancer. Being obese for 10 years or more significantly raises the risk of womb cancer. Other cancers, such as bowel, kidney and pancreatic cancer are also more likely to occur.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) monitored 74,000 women over a 12 year period. They found that for every decade a woman spent overweight, the risk of breast cancer increased by five per cent and womb cancer by 17 per cent.
However, among the most overweight women, the increase for breast cancer was 8 per cent and for womb cancer 37 per cent.
Scientists knew the link existed between cancer and body composition, but the length of time a woman is overweight has now become significant risk factor.
The WHO report said: “Health teams should recognise the potential of obesity management in cancer prevention. Weight is important to manage, regardless of the age of the patient.”