Physiological and environmental factors affecting cancer risk and prognosis in obesity

Paul F. Seke Etet, Lorella Vecchio, Armel H. Nwabo Kamdje, Patrice N. Mimche, Alfred K. Njamnshi, Abdu Adem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity results from a chronic excessive accumulation of adipose tissue due to a long-term imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Available epidemiological and clinical data strongly support the links between obesity and certain cancers. Emerging clinical and experimental findings have improved our understanding of the roles of key players in obesity-associated carcinogenesis such as age, sex (menopause), genetic and epigenetic factors, gut microbiota and metabolic factors, body shape trajectory over life, dietary habits, and general lifestyle. It is now widely accepted that the cancer-obesity relationship depends on the site of cancer, the systemic inflammatory status, and micro environmental parameters such as levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in transforming tissues. We hereby review recent advances in our understanding of cancer risk and prognosis in obesity with respect to these players. We highlight how the lack of their consideration contributed to the controversy over the link between obesity and cancer in early epidemiological studies. Finally, the lessons and challenges of interventions for weight loss and better cancer prognosis, and the mechanisms of weight gain in survivors are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Mechanisms
  • Obesity
  • Signalling pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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