ASCO Launches New Resources for Providers and Patients to Address Link Between Obesity and Cancer

Get Permission

Obesity is on its way to replacing tobacco as the number one preventable, modifiable cause of cancer.

— Clifford A. Hudis, MD

As the obesity epidemic takes its toll on the nation’s health, ASCO is making strides to address this growing concern as it relates to cancer. ASCO has developed a suite of educational resources designed to help oncology providers educate their patients about the negative effects of obesity on cancer risk and cancer-related mortality, and the need to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle during and after treatment.

These resources are just one component of a multiphase obesity initiative by ASCO funded through the Conquer Cancer Foundation that aims to increase public awareness of the link between obesity and cancer, which remains low despite mounting evidence of the obesity–cancer connection.

In 2007 alone, more than 50,000 new cases of cancer in women (7%) and 34,000 new cases in men (4%) were due to obesity.1

“Obesity is on its way to replacing tobacco as the number one preventable, modifiable cause of cancer,” said ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD. “We recognize this risk and are collaborating with other experienced organizations nationally and globally to both learn from their efforts and contribute our own. We need to confront this growing problem and develop all the necessary tools to limit its impact.”

Online Toolkit

One of these tools includes a new set of online resources, the “Obesity and Cancer Toolkit,” to help providers initiate conversations regarding weight management with their patients and to assist patients in making healthy lifestyle changes after a cancer diagnosis. The Toolkit includes a guide for providers and is available at Resources for patients about weight management during and after cancer care and treatment are available on Cancer.Net, at Additionally, printed versions of the provider guide and patient booklet can be ordered in bulk for your practice at

Later this year ASCO will issue a policy statement laying out a set of recommendations for addressing obesity and cancer and the role ASCO will take in advancing these recommendations. Additionally, to foster research on obesity, the Society will host a research summit of investigators from across many disciplines to address the growing needs in this area. ■


1. National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health: Obesity and cancer risk fact sheet. Available at Accessed October 2, 2013

© 2014. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.