Unintended weight loss identified as second highest cancer risk factor

(Allen Cone/ United Press International) — When a person experiences an unintended weight loss, it is the second-highest predictor for some forms of cancer, according to an analysis of studies.

Researchers at the universities of Oxford and Exeter analyzed the findings of 25 studies, incorporating data from more than 11.5 million patients collected between 1994 and 2015. They found that weight loss was linked with 10 types of cancer: prostate, colorectal, lung, gastro-esophageal, pancreatic, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, ovarian, myeloma, renal tract and biliary tree.

Their analysis was published Monday in the British Journal of General Practice.

Unintended weight loss in people older than 60 exceeded the 3 percent risk threshold for urgent investigation, according to guidelines by Britain’s National Institute for Health Research.

In females older than 60 the average risk across all sites involved was estimated to be up to 6.7 percent, and in males over 60 average risk was up to 14.2 percent.(…)

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