Metabo-Oncology: The Latest Frontier in Cancer Research

Cancer cell illustration

There is a new field of cancer research that is only just now starting to take shape but is promising to greatly increase our understanding of cancer and what can influence how it develops over time. This field is being called metabo-oncology.

Metabo-oncology is the study of the effects that metabolic dysfunction and obesity have on cancer and cancer treatments. This includes both how they affect those who already have cancer as well as how they may increase the odds of one getting cancer later on in life.

It is very much still an emerging field, but there are already a number of things we know concerning the link between cancer and both obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

How Obesity Affects Cancer

It has long been known that obesity can increase a person’s likelihood of developing many different health conditions as well as contributing towards a higher mortality rate, but the negative effects that it can have on one’s health doesn’t end just there. Obesity can also cause chronic inflammation, which itself can lead to a whole host of ailments including increasing one’s risk of developing cancer in the future, as well as increase cancer risk in regards to the growth of tumors within the gastrointestinal tract.

Knowing that there is a link between cancer cases and obesity already warrants more research into the subject. But, to add to this, obesity is becoming ever more prevalent, with around 39.8 percent of adults in the US being obese. This high percentage is only compounded by the number of new cancer cases that are purported to have been caused by obesity, which was around 3.6 percent in 2012. Doing further research into this portion of the population may provide valuable information that could help researchers better understand both cancer and obesity as well as how the two are connected.

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Metabolic Dysfunction and its Link to Cancer

Metabolic dysfunction is another condition that has been studied for its link to cancer. In particular, a few studies have shown a potential link between those with metabolic dysfunction and eventually developing cancer cachexia, which is a wasting disorder in those with cancer that causes asthenia, weight loss, and anemia. It has been estimated that cancer cachexia causes close to a third of all cancer deaths.

Because of its connection with cancer cachexia, learning more about metabolic dysfunction and what kind of effects it can have on those suffering from cancer has been a goal for many researchers and will be a big part of the emerging field of metabo-oncology.

Another area concerning metabolic dysfunction that researchers will want to look into is in regards to how it affects different cancer treatments. This is because both metabolic dysfunction and obesity can have some negative effects on the treatments themselves, sometimes making them less effective than they normally would be.

What’s in Store for Metabo-Oncology in the Future

While there has already been a lot of research done regarding both obesity and metabolic dysfunction, as well as how they are connected to cancer, there is still a lot more that needs to be investigated and will no doubt end up being studied for many more years to come.

For example, even though there is generally considered to be a strong connection between obesity and cancer, a lot more research still needs to be done regarding just how and why obesity has such an effect on cancer development. Similar research needs to be done concerning metabolic dysfunction as well.

On top of learning more about the connection to cancer itself, research will also need to be done regarding how obesity and metabolic dysfunction affect the typical methods used in cancer treatment as well as what can be done to help improve outcomes for those who suffer from these ailments.

While there is definitely a lot that we still don’t understand when it comes to the field of metabo-oncology, it is still a very promising field that will no doubt end up revealing many secrets regarding how cancer works as well as potential new methods for treating it that will help give those suffering from it better outcomes.

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