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Doctors Say Body Fat Increases Your Cancer Risk More Than Smoking

It can seem like every week there's new research about cancer. There's a lot to remember about what to avoid and how to lower your risk, but researchers have found new evidence that changes everything you know about cancer.

For years we were told that smoking was the single biggest risk factor for developing cancer, but not anymore.

Now doctors say that having a high BMI (body mass index) or being overweight creates the biggest risk of developing cancer. Keep reading to find out why.

Fox News

We already knew that being overweight made you more vulnerable to developing heart disease and diabetes, but now doctors say being overweight actually encourages cancer cells to grow.

That's because inflammation, which is your body's response to any extra weight, helps cancer thrive inside your body.

Here's even more bad news: there's a long list of cancers that are tied to your weight, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, kidney cancer and colorectal cancer.

Plus, packing on the pounds makes your body less sensitive to insulin, This leads to conditions like diabetes, but also another group of insulin-related cancers.

According to Melinda Irwin, a cancer expert from Yale University, a third of all cancers are affected by "lifestyle behaviors" including your diet and exercise levels.

Doctors recommend watching what you eat and exercising more often if you're trying to lose weight, and now you have some extra motivation to shed the pounds.

In a pinch, try focusing on the sugar and fat in your diet, which are the biggest contributors to stubborn belly fat.

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[H/T: Time]

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