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Colorectal cancer (CRC)

  • Context (TH): Obesity rates are increasing globally, including in India.
  • A 2022 study in The Lancet found that 9.8% of Indian women and 5.4% of men are obese.
  • Obesity is linked to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, and colorectal cancer (CRC).

Obesity & Fat distribution

  • Obesity is typically defined using the body mass index (BMI), which considers height and weight.
  • A BMI of 25 kg/m2 or higher indicates overweight, while 30 kg/m2 or higher indicates obesity.
  • However, BMI doesn’t account for how fat is distributed in the body. Scientists use measures like waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio to assess fat distribution.

Colorectal Cancer (CRC)

  • CRC refers to cancers of the colon or rectum.
  • CRC incidence in India is relatively low, but survival rates after diagnosis are under 40%.
  • Indian CRC patients are often young and diagnosed at advanced stages, according to a 2017 study.

Who is at risk of colorectal cancer (CRC)?

  • Scientists identified four body shape groups:
    • PC1 (generally obese).
    • PC2 (tall with a low waist-to-hip ratio).
    • PC3 (tall with central obesity).
    • PC4 (athletic body shape).
  • PC2 and PC4 individuals showed no significant association with CRC risk.
  • A gene called AKT was associated with higher colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in generally obese individuals.
  • Another gene, RAF1, was linked to CRC risk in tall and centrally obese individuals.
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