Obesity: A Leading Cause Of Breast Cancer

Important news on a leading cause of breast cancer. Research appearing in the British Journal of Cancer has found that obesity is the biggest driving force behind the hormone sensitive form of breast cancer in older women.

Doctors know that having too much fat in the body ups hormone levels, and past studies have found that post menopausal women with high levels of hormones oestrogen and testosterone have from 2 to 3 times the risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of these hormones.

After menopause, the fat cells in a woman’s body become the chief source of hormones.

Experts know that risks of developing breast cancer include family and reproductive history, use of hormones and exposure to radiation. The troubling thing is, about 70% of those who get breast cancer don’t have any of these known risk factors. What’s more, over the last 20 years the numbers of overweight and obese people have been going up, now reaching alarming numbers. As have the numbers with breast cancer.

The team of researchers from Oxford University looked at the health records of almost 6,300 postmenopausal women from 13 different studies in an attempt to find out why some of them were diagnosed with the hormone sensitive form of cancer of the breast, while others were not.

They saw oestrogen levels in obese subjects were 50% higher than leaner women; testosterone levels were 16% higher leading them to conclude that weight had the biggest bearing on sex hormone levels, followed by smoking 15 cigarettes or drinking more than 2 and a half alcoholic drinks a day.

And while family history and getting older are risk factors for breast cancer that you can’t control, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes and most damaging of all, being overweight or obese are things that you can most certainly do something about. Start by knowing where you stand, and calculating your own BMI.

If the number is higher than it should be, over 25.0, it’s time to start making some changes. There are lots of programs to help you lose weight, but no matter which you choose, the simple secret to losing weight it to take in fewer calories than you burn.

Continues below…

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Obesity Biggest Driver Behind Risk Of Breast Cancer… Continued…

Look at what you’re eating, and make changes that limit your processed and high calorie food intake and include more natural, healthy options like fruits, veggies and whole grains.

You’ll also want to talk to your doctor (especially if you’ve been inactive for a while) about a fitness program. It’s always smart to start slow, and work up to thirty minutes of moderately intense activity on most days of the week. By watching what you eat, and being more active, you’ll start to see the weight drop off.

The good news is that even a small weight loss, such as 5-10% of your body weight, can bring benefits. And encourage you to keep going.

Obesity is not only a leading cause of breast cancer.  By holding onto those extra pounds you increase your risk of life altering diseases like this as well as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, depression and even painful osteoarthritis. All good reasons for tackling any weight issues now, while you have the chance to influence your health now and in the future.