Sugar and cancer have been shown to be related on several occasions. Many New York Times best-selling authors and integrative medical practitioners advised their readers and/or patients to stay away from white sugar completely because of this relation. Some studies have been quoted to say that sugar “feeds on” cancer. As a scientist and fellow peach-ribbon wearing #ecovercomer, my team and I want to debunk the myths that exist while providing balanced information for you to stay healthy for life.

Let’s start with the obvious: there is doubt white processed sugar has a link to cancer and is not a recommended form of nutrition, especially in daily or large amounts. So let’s back that statement with some data pertaining to EC.

Here are some of the potentially related reasons why that we have found:


Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to weigh gain and obesity. Our cells need energy to survive and use sugar as one form of energy, but this does not mean that cancer cells grow more with sugar. It is obesity that leads to increased risk of developing any cancer. This is shown by the fact that obesity has caused almost 20% deaths in women and less than 15% in men.1 

Changes in Hormone Levels:

Sugary food consumption can lead to imbalances in the levels of steroid hormones associated with adiposity which also leads to an increased risk of cancer.2 

Insulin Promotes Cancer:

Studies have found that increase sugar consumption and weight gain leading to obesity is the cause of diabetes. And increased levels of insulin in diabetic individuals with insulin resistance are at an increased risk of developing a spectrum of different cancers. This is because high levels of insulin decrease binding proteins of insulin growth factor 1 whose signaling is highly implicated in development of cancers.3

Relation Between Sugar Consumption and Endometrial Cancer:

Sugar and endometrial cancer are also somewhat related. One possible theory of this relationship is that sugar causes obesity. It leads to the deposition of fat in various areas of the body. And this adipose tissue is what converts the androgens, male sex hormones in the blood to estrogen.

Estrogen is the main female sex hormone. Estrogen influences the proliferative phase or growth of endometrium in the normal menstrual cycle. When excess estrogen is present, it derives the hyperplasia and hyperproliferation (increase in number of cells) of the endometrium, the inner most lining of the uterus and any cancerous precursor lesions. This makes estrogen a mode of how sugar might influence the endometrial cancer.4 Studies also show that increase in adiposity and associated increase in ovarian stimulation over expresses estrogen. This estrogen can cause endometrial cancer to develop.5

But How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

You may now wonder how much sugar you can consume; how much is permissible without having risks of developing cancers particularly endometrial cancer. 

Well don’t worry, you can have sweets but there must be a moderation to the use of sweets in the diet. Although sugar cannot directly cause cancer, it is essential to have a moderate intake of sugars. According to the American Heart Association, women should consume less than 25 grams (100 calories or 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day. While men should consume less than 36 grams (150 calories or 9 teaspoons) of sugar per day from added sugars sources. These guidelines are for all people, whether having cancer or not.6

Keeping this discussion in mind, know that there exists an indirect like between cancers and sugar consumption. You don’t have to stop eating sugar altogether, since your normal body cells also need sugar to survive. Just limiting the amount of sugar to a normal amount is enough to prevent feeding your cancer cells.


  1. De Pergola, Giovanni, and Franco Silvestris. “Obesity as a major risk factor for cancer.” Journal of obesity vol. 2013 (2013): 291546. doi:10.1155/2013/291546
  2. Makarem, Nour et al. “Consumption of Sugars, Sugary Foods, and Sugary Beverages in Relation to Adiposity-Related Cancer Risk in the Framingham Offspring Cohort (1991-2013).” Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.) vol. 11,6 (2018): 347-358. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-17-0218
  3. Harish, K., Dharmalingam, M. & Himanshu, M. Study Protocol: insulin and its role in cancer. BMC Endocr Disord 7, 10 (2007).
  4. Byrne, Frances L et al. “The Role of Hyperglycemia in Endometrial Cancer Pathogenesis.” Cancers vol. 12,5 1191. 8 May. 2020, doi:10.3390/cancers12051191
  5. Kaaks, Rudolf et al. “Obesity, endogenous hormones, and endometrial cancer risk: a synthetic review.” Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology vol. 11,12 (2002): 1531-43.