To Your Health
December, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 12)
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Lose the Weight, Lower the Risk

By Editorial Staff

With an estimated one in eight women suffering breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, prevention – or at least risk reduction – is on everyone's minds. Enter weight loss, which may reduce the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer even if the weight lost is insufficient to achieve normal weight.

The study tracked more than 61,000 women who had gone through menopause, evaluating body-mass index (BMI) at two 3-year intervals and then monitoring for the development of invasive breast cancer over approximately an 11-year period. Compared with women who maintained a stable weight during the initial three-year period, women who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight during that time were 12 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.

weight loss - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Additionally, women who gained weight during the three-year BMI tracking period (5 percent gain) did not have an increased risk of breast cancer in general, but had a considerable (54 percent) increased risk of developing a specific – and particularly dangerous – type of breast cancer called "triple negative" breast cancer. This type of cancer represents approximately 10-20 percent of breast cancers, and does not respond to many conventional therapies, making it difficult to treat.

If weight loss and breast cancer prevention are on your mind, talk to your doctor about ways to get the weight off – and keep it off for good. Less weight, lower breast cancer risk. Now that's a win-win for your health and wellness.