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Building Trusted Connections that Bridge Weight Health and Cancer Prevention

Roxana Cham, MD shares her reflections from the Transcarent Clinic on the connection between weight health and cancer prevention for National Cancer Prevention Month.

By Transcarent

Roxana Cham, MD, Medical Director of Clinical Quality and Safety, Transcarent, and Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity

Imagine a world where more people enjoy their doctor visits; where they have consistent healthcare experiences that lift them up and bring them hope, instead of inducing confusion, stress, and shame. If more people had a history of feeling inspired after the typical doctor visit, there might be more opportunities to engage people in healthier choices on their personal journeys – especially when it comes to prevention.

As an obesity medicine specialist, I work with people every day who associate doctor visits with feelings of shame and embarrassment because they’ve received stigmatized and disconnected care in the past. Their past experiences are keeping them separated from the guidance and care they need today, which is also cutting them off from potential lifesaving preventive screenings. We are missing opportunities to help people. This concern is especially salient for those struggling with their weight, because they are at increased risk for chronic conditions, like cancer.

A higher body weight has been linked to several common cancers, including breast, colorectal, esophageal, kidney, gallbladder, uterine, pancreatic, and liver cancer. The good news is that many of these cancers are preventable. Losing as little as 5% to 10% of total body weight can reduce the risk of developing cancer,1 and there are simple tests that can detect many of these cancers in their early stages which usually results in better long-term outcomes.

If we can reach more people with positive care experiences, we can create more opportunities to build the trusted relationships that keep people engaged in their own wellness and prevention. This will allow us to help more people get the whole-person care that can keep them healthier for the long-term. This is an effort that’s especially important to me during National Cancer Prevention Month in February.

I see this reality every day as a virtual care doctor with the Transcarent Clinic. Members share that they feel more comfortable with our approach to virtual care because they can choose to receive care via text or video. Many people struggling with their weight choose text at first. This modality can reduce feelings of being stigmatized, helping them to feel more relaxed with their doctor. Giving people the opportunity to receive care on their own terms opens the door for doctors, like me, to reach more people. It fosters the positive interactions that build trusted relationships and allows me to fully engage Members in their care, helping them stay healthier on their personal journeys and easily connect to necessary cancer screenings without leaving the Transcarent app.

It's important for people to know that in most cases, they do have the ability to turn their health around. I want to help our Members understand that they can be healthy at any size and know that we are here to walk with them on this journey. They can count on us for the personalized support they need to make the healthcare choices that are right for them and feel confident in getting the right preventive care and cancer screenings that can help save their lives.

1 Body Weight and Cancer Risk, ASCO,,