A recent study shows that women who have more weight in their trunk (i.e., higher central obesity) may be more at risk for developing certain types of cancer than those who have more of their fat in their peripheral areas. The study concludes that a higher BMI or fat percentage may not necessarily mean an older woman is more at risk of cancer. The location of the additional mass plays a role in the development of certain types of cancer.
This study looked at information from the Prospective Epidemiologic Risk Factory study. That study gathered data from 5,855 Danish postmenopausal women between 1999 and 2001. Out of these 5,855 women, 811 were diagnosed with cancer, and trunk obesity did appear to relate to several types of these cancers.
Specifically, trunk obesity was an independent indicator for lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer. It was not a strong indicator for breast, ovarian, or other cancers.
These findings were first presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2017 Congress on September 10, 2017.