Unintended weight loss 2nd highest risk factor for 4 cancer types

A study published in the British Journal of General Practice investigated the link between weight loss and risk of cancer.

Researchers conducted an analysis of 25 studies, which included data from more than 11.5 million patients in total.

The study shows unintended weight loss is the second highest risk factor for colorectal, lung, pancreatic and renal cancers. In all, weight loss was linked with 10 types of cancer.

"Streamlined services that allow [general practitioners] to investigate non-specific symptoms like weight loss are vitally important and urgently needed if we are to catch cancer earlier and save lives," said Dr. Brian Nicholson, of the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom. "Our research indicates that coordinated investigation across multiple body sites could help to speed up cancer diagnosis in patients with weight loss. We now need to continue our research to understand the most appropriate combination of tests and to give guidance on how much weight loss GPs and patients should worry about."

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