Having This BMI Could TRIGGER Breast Cancer!

By on June 24, 2015
Obesity is never healthy for anyone, but here’s a new reason why it pays to shed those stubborn pounds, say researchers.

According to new research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, postmenopausal women with a body mass index higher than 35, considered clinically obese, faced a 58 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer. Those who had a BMI under 25, however, considered normal, were less likely to develop the disease.

The research appears in JAMA Oncology, a health journal.

“Overweight and obesity are a growing global challenge, and the increased burden of malignant disease, to which it contributes, is another one,” write scientists Clifford Hudis and Andrew Dannenburg in a commentary. “Their report helps focus our thinking and motivates us to pursue a deeper understanding of why overweight and obesity are a problem so that we can plan more effective and thoughtful responses.”

The Research

Looking at data from over 67,000 women who previously participated in the Women’s Health Initiative, a 15-year research program which examined risk factors associated with heart disease, researchers used these data instead to examine another important matter: breast cancer.

Researchers knew breast cancer rates rose among postmenopausal women, but wanted to see if their weight played a significant role.

To find out, they calculated the BMIs of the women in the study, comparing to the breast cancer rates recorded within the group. Nearly 3,400 women eventually developed invasive breast cancer by the end of the study.

So what did they find? Simple: Women with a BMI over 35 more than doubled their breast cancer risk, indicating their weight played a significant role. Women with normal BMIs did not face an increased risk, however.

The news is concerning to researchers.

“Overweight and obesity are a growing global challenge, and the increased burden of malignant disease, to which it contributes, is another one,” write researchers in JAMA Oncology. ” Classically, clear cell endometrial cancer, but also a large number of others, including a range of gastrointestinal primary, prostate, and breast cancers, has been associated with overweight and obesity, but recently so has non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

So what’s the simplest solution? Easy, say researchers: Avoiding obesity is a must. Maintaining a normal weight should be a primary concern for all women, even those who haven’t developed menopause–not doing so, unfortunately, could significantly increase your breast cancer risk.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to shed those stubborn pounds.

“There are many consequences of being overweight or obese in adulthood, including increased risks of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and diminished quality of life, among many others,” write researchers.

Readers: Do you have trouble maintaining a normal weight? Why or why not?

Overweight Postmenopausal Women at Increased Risk of Breast
Obesity and Breast Cancer: Narrowing the Focus (Commentary)
Overweight, Obesity, and Postmenopausal Invasive Breast Cancer

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