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Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017: Is There Any Link Between Obesity And Breast Cancer?

To spread awareness about Breast Cancer among the masses, the month of October is observed as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the world over. But is there a link between being obese and developing breast cancer? This article will let you know.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017: Is There Any Link Between Obesity And Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017: Know the link between obesity and breast cancer

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. October is the World Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  2. Fat tissue produces excess estrogen, which may hike risk of breast cancer
  3. Regular moderate exercise helps lower down risk of breast cancer

To spread awareness about Breast Cancer among the masses, the month of October is observed as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the world over.

But is there a link between being obese and developing breast cancer? This article will let you know.

Obesity is a condition in which a person has an unhealthy amount or distribution of body fat. Obesity is an established risk factor for postmenopausal, but not premenopausal, development of breast cancer. Evidence for a positive association between obesity and breast cancer mortality is gradually increasing. Avoiding adult weight gain and maintaining a healthy body weight may contribute importantly to decreasing breast cancer risk and mortality, especially in postmenopausal women. Several possible mechanisms have been explained to show how obesity might increase the risks of some cancers. These include:

  • Obese people often have chronic low-level inflammation, which can, over time, cause DNA damage that leads to cancer. Overweight individuals are more likely than normal-weight individuals to have conditions or disorders that are linked to or that cause chronic local inflammation and that are risk factors for certain cancers.
  • Fat tissue (also called adipose tissue) produces excess amounts of estrogen, high levels of which have been associated with increased risks of breast, endometrial, ovarian, and some other cancers.
Overweight individuals often have increased blood levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This condition, known as hyper insulinemia or insulin resistance, precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. High levels of insulin and IGF-1 may promote the development of colon, kidney, prostate, and eventually lead to endometrial cancers.

Also Read: Can Breast Cancer Affect Your Fertility?

Many studies link BMI to breast cancer risk. However, BMI affects risk differently before and after menopause.

  • Before menopause, being overweight or obese modestly decreases breast cancer risk.
  • After menopause, being overweight or obese increases breast cancer risk.

Research from the Nurses' Health Study found women who lost weight and kept it off for 4 or more years after menopause had a 40% lower risk of breast cancer. Another study found that weight-loss surgery was associated with an 83% lower risk of breast cancer. Many studies have also discovered that exercise is a breast-healthy habit. As little as 75 to 150 minutes of brisk walking, each week, has been shown to lower-down risk. Ramping up your exercise routine even more may lower your breast cancer risk even further.



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