According to the Department of Health and Human Services news release, a recent study has shown that women who gain weight after the age of 18 may have a slight risk of developing breast cancer than those women who stay at a stable weight.
Lead study author, JiYoung Ahn who works at the National Cancer Institute states that they “found that weight gain throughout adulthood as well as weight gain at specific stages of life were associated with risk of breast cancer, compared with maintaining a stable weight.” He also adds: “Specific stages include during early reproductive years, late reproductive years, and perimenopausal and postmenopausal years.”
The study done by the National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study which included 100,000 post-menopausal women started in 1996. The women studied reported their weight and their body measurements at 18, 35, and 50 years-old. Once these numbers were taken, the women then were classified based on the body mass index, which was underweight, normal weight, over weight or obese.
The study revealed that women who did not take menopausal hormone therapy, who gained weight in the reproductive years (18-25), the late reproductive years (35-50) and the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal years (50-up) were associated with a increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to those women who maintained a healthy, stable weight throughout their life. Those women who had been obese by the age of 35-50 did have an increased risk of 1.4 times more of developing breast cancer.
In other studies, obesity has been proven to be a serious risk factor for breast cancer during the post-menopausal years. Researchers believe that the risk goes up because of the estrogens which give the fuel for breast cancer growth that accumulates in the fat tissue.
Dr. Jay Brooks, Chairman of Hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, Louisiana states a very simple and truthful assumption “In our society, most people gain weight”.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the definition of breast cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the breast, usually more so in the tubes that carry milk to the nipple and the glands that make milk. Breast cancer can happen in both men and women, however male breast cancer is rare. 2007 statistics show that 178,480 new cases have been diagnosed in women and 2,030 men have been diagnosed. Statistics also show that over 40,000 women have died from breast cancer this year alone as well as 450 men.
To learn more about breast cancer please visit the National Cancer Institute.
SOURCE : Weight Gain Increases Breast Cancer Risk: Study
SOURCE : National Cancer Institute – Breast Cancer