Risk of breast cancer lowers with weight loss, according to a new study.
In the U.S., about 12 percent of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and there is also an overweight or obesity epidemic that is going on in the United States as well.
Obesity increases chances of breast cancer
The physicians are aware that obesity increases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer after menopause. On the other hand, the research in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute is the first major content of scientific evidence to illustrate the effect can be reversed with weight loss.
Sustained weight loss lowers risk of breast cancer
“What we found was that indeed, women who lost weight and kept it off had a lower risk of breast cancer than women who stayed the same weight,” said lead study author Lauren Teras, scientific director for epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society.
During the study, 180,000 women over the age of 50 were tracked for nearly ten years.
Weight was calculated throughout the study to see whether the women lost weight and were able to maintain weight loss. Also, the study authors took into consideration of other risk factors that can affect obesity and break cancer risk. For example, women who had hormone replacement therapy or physical activity levels.
The bigger the weight loss, the lower the risk of breast cancer
If they were to lose about 5 pounds and keep it off, the women had a 13 percent lower chance of breast cancer. “The bigger the sustained weight the, the bigger the impact,” says Teras.
Unfortunately, the way that postmenopausal obesity affects breast cancer development is not clearly understood, but it seems to focus on hormones. Fat cells create estrogen, which will, in turn, create some forms of breast cancer.
Lifestyle increases breast cancer risk
Although some breast cancer is general, lifestyle choices can also play a part, for example, forms or hormone therapy, lack or exercise and alcohol consumption. Exercising each day is another way to lower the chances of breast cancer.
The bottom line
All in all, breast cancer is a growing disease for women with over 60,000 new cases this year alone. Lifestyle choices can play a major role in the chancer of breast cancer but weight loss may lower the risk of breast cancer.
Source: Edwards, Erika. “Losing weight after age 50 linked to lower breast cancer risk” www.nbcnews.com December 17, 2019