Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer Risk

Tiffany Scully, Abora Ettela, Derek LeRoith, Emily Jane Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Obesity and type 2 diabetes have both been associated with increased cancer risk and are becoming increasingly prevalent. Metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia are associated with both obesity and type 2 diabetes and have been implicated in the obesity-cancer relationship. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to link obesity and diabetes with cancer progression, including an increase in insulin/IGF-1 signaling, lipid and glucose uptake and metabolism, alterations in the profile of cytokines, chemokines, and adipokines, as well as changes in the adipose tissue directly adjacent to the cancer sites. This review aims to summarize and provide an update on the epidemiological and mechanistic evidence linking obesity and type 2 diabetes with cancer, focusing on the roles of insulin, lipids, and adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number615375
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2021


  • IGF-1
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • cancer
  • insulin
  • leptin
  • lipids
  • obesity


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