Obesity-associated gastrointestinal tract cancer: From beginning to end

Authors

  • Nathan A. Berger MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Corresponding author: Nathan A. Berger, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106; Fax: (216) 368-3244; nab@case.edu

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  • See referenced original article on pages 983–91, this issue.

Abstract

Unique aspects of the newly reported association between obesity and oral squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue are addressed in view of the current obesity pandemic and its relation to an increased risk of cancer incidence and worse cancer prognosis. Attention is called to problems evaluating and treating cancer in the presence of obesity. Potential biologic links are discussed, including: 1) increased sex steroid hormones; 2) increased growth factors; 3) altered adipokine levels; 4) low-grade inflammation; and 5) altered microbiomes. Concern is raised regarding the potential interaction between human papillomavirus and obesity, each of which is now associated with an increased relative risk of cancer of the tongue.

Ancillary