Obesity And Cancer

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We have finally found a medication to treat patients that are hungry all the time!

Scientists are learning more and more about the interaction of our hormones and diseases such as diabetes Type 2, and Cancer, and Obesity. A recent article in the Washington Post discusses how an imbalance of the hormone deficiency GLP-1 can cause us to not stop eating when we have had enough food for nutrition. This leads directly to increases in Obesity. We now have a drug, two drugs in fact, Victoza and Saxenda, which will increase GLP-1 and decrease hunger.

Obesity is a major contributor to both Diabetes and Cancer. Physicians are trying to find ways to incorporate weight reduction as an integral part of treating both of these disorders. There are some drugs which can be used efficaciously, but the most important focus is to work on exercise and diet in order to reduce weight, however we have seen that this method does not work without medication and intervention.

Obesity is a global epidemic, over the past 25 years the average weight of Americans has increased by a range of 20-40 pounds. According to the National Cancer Institute, 84000 new cases of obesity-related cancers were diagnosed in 2007. Four percent of cancers in men and 7% of cancers in women were directly attributable to obesity.

When Cancer is diagnosed there is a teachable moment. People attend to what is said due to the fear factor of the Cancer diagnosis. Doctors are learning to seize that moment to address weight loss as part of the treatment plan for their overweight patients. What we are learning is that if it is not addressed specifically and verbally, accompanied with a plan of attack, people tend to disregard the concern expressed by medical professionals. Also unfortunately, people do not tend to do well on their own in fighting their weight and in establishing an exercise regimen. Doctors and their staff are learning that they need to facilitate acquisition of information and in helping establish a plan of attack, but they also need to focus on providing medications for weight loss like Victoza and a diet regimen. There needs to be a team approach that includes medical professionals and the patient and the patient’s family or friends, this team needs to be committed to the importance of reducing weight to improve Cancer cures and longevity of patients with either Cancer, Diabetes, or more and more commonly, both.

Apps on your phone/computer and communication and acknowledgement within a treatment team can help you accomplish the goal! Watch our podcast to find out more about this important topic.

Ask your doctor for one of the new weight loss drugs that decrease hunger and allow you to feel full. An example is Qsymia, Saxenda/Victoza with appetite supplements like Bontril and Phentermine.