Inflammation and cancer

Obesity, poor diet, rich in simple carbohydrates and trans or saturated fats, too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the intensification of the inflammation in the body.

Is inflammation related to cancer?

Yes, according to numerous studies, inflammation is crucial for cancer development. Many environmental causes of cancer and risk factors are linked to chronic inflammation. Up to 20% of cancers are associated with chronic infections, 30% can be attributed to smoking and airborne pollutants such as silica and asbestos, and 35% can be attributed to dietary factors (of which up to 20% of cancers are associated with obesity).

Many cancers arise at sites of infection, chronic irritation and inflammation.

It is not only inflammation that is important here but also e.g. accompanying various pathological states of DNA damage. The best-known example concerns hepatocellular carcinoma caused by N- Nitrosodimethylamine (DEN). It causes DNA damage, cell necrosis, and an inflammatory response that promotes tumour growth.

The second example concerns the harmful effects of quartz and cristobalite associated with the inhalation of dust, which can penetrate the lungs and be toxic there, causing a chronic inflammatory reaction followed by fibrotic changes. The result of such processes is the development of silicosis of the lungs, and in many cases also lung cancer.

It seems that the environment around the tumour, in which inflammatory cells occur, is of key importance for its development, survival and migration through the body (of course, not all tumours are highly aggressive).

The inflammatory response plays a critical role at various stages of tumour development, including initiation (accumulation of mutations, as well as changes caused by chemical, physical and biological factors)

Inflammation can be reduced by:

  • regular physical activity
  • an adequate supply of healthy fats
  • avoiding simple sugars
  • avoiding too high accumulation of adipose tissue
  • avoiding exposure to harmful environmental factors