Body weight and cancer risk

Being overweight or obese is associated with a number of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Research also shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk of a number of cancers.

There is convincing evidence that overweight and obesity increases the risk of:

  • Oesophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Breast cancer (in women who have had their menopause)
  • Endometrial cancer (lining of the womb or uterus)
  • Kidney cancer

There is probable evidence that overweight and obesity increases risk of:

  • Mouth, pharynx (throat) and larynx cancer
  • Stomach (cardia) cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate (advanced) cancer
To find out more about how overweight and obesity can increase your cancer risk see the position statement on overweight, obesity and cancer prevention.