In Germany, 33,000 men and 28,000 women develop colon cancer every year. This makes colon cancer the third most common cancer in both sexes. A new study now shows that two body types appear to carry a particularly high risk of disease.

People with two specific body types are at increased risk of developing colon cancer. That’s according to a new study published April 19 in the journal Science Advances.

An international team of researchers analyzed the health data of almost 330,000 Brits from the UK Biobank. Specifically, they examined the effects of body size, obesity and fat distribution on the individual risk of colon cancer.

To do this, they divided the participants into four groups:

The scientists found that

had. The risk was also slightly increased in subjects in groups 2 and 4, but not significantly. This means: People who are overweight and tall people who have accumulations of fat, particularly around the middle or stomach, have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

“We believe that the most commonly used indicators of body fat, such as BMI and waist circumference, underestimate the risk of cancer due to unhealthy weight,” explained Heinz Freisling, study author and scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.

His criticism: These indicators group people with similar BMI but different body shapes into the same category. “Although we know that people with the same BMI can have very different cancer risks.”

The researchers also carried out a genetic analysis. To do this, they used genome data from over 450,000 people from the UK Biobank. They identified 3,414 genetic variants linked to body shape.

Therefore could

be detected.

“The results of our tissue-level genetic analysis suggest several mechanisms that likely reflect different obesity subtypes,” said Freisling. These include dysregulation of blood sugar levels and metabolism. In other words, the processes in which food is converted into energy. But also increased inflammation and hormones produced in fatty tissue, the so-called adipokines. “A well-described adipokine is leptin, which regulates appetite but is potentially directly relevant to cancer development,” explains Freisling.

So genes play a role in obesity. There is also a genetic predisposition to the risk factors for colon cancer. “First-degree relatives of patients with colon cancer are themselves affected at an above-average rate,” writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

The RKI names the following as further risk factors:

In addition to genetic factors, lifestyle also plays a role in the development of colon cancer. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) lists the most important prevention tips: