Postmenopausal women who are overweight — and especially obese — have a greater risk of developing breast cancers, finds a new study that highlights the importance of preventing weight gain, as it also raises questions about whether losing weight necessarily reduces that risk.
The study adds to a consistent body of research showing that overweight and obesity increases women’s risk of postmenopausal breast cancers. It was published yesterday in JAMA Oncology.
AICR estimates that a third of US breast cancers could be prevented if women were at a healthy weight throughout life, were active and did not drink alcohol.
In this study, as other research has seen, the heavier the women, the greater the risk. Women categorized as the most obese were at almost double the risk of the most common type of breast cancer, ER-positive, along with PR-positive tumors. These cancers are fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, respectively.
The study used data from approximately 67,000 women who were all part of the Women’s Health Initiative trials. That study focused on preventing certain cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis. When the women entered the study in the mid 1990s they were 50 to 79 years old, and they were weighed. They also answered questions about their lifestyle habits, medical history and other health risk factors. After that, they were weighed annually and had regular mammograms. Continue reading
Almost half a million cancer cases worldwide are due to the rising rates of overweight and obesity, making many of the most common cancers potentially avoidable, says a new study published in The Lancet Oncology.
The study was funded in part by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International, which AICR is a member. AICR and WCRF now estimate that approximately 122,000 cases of cancers in the US are due to overweight and obesity.
Researchers in The Lancet study calculated that 481,000 – 3.6% – of all new cancer cases in adults worldwide were attributable to high BMI in 2012, the latest global data available.
Obesity-related cancers are more likely to affect women than men, largely due to endometrial and post-menopausal breast cancers, according to the study. In men, excess weight was responsible for 1.9% or 136,000 new cancers in 2012, and in women it was 5.4% or 345,000 new cases. Continue reading
Just when New Years resolutions on weight loss are in full swing comes a large new study that suggests being pudgy may actually help us live longer, even as it finds being extremely obese increases our risk of premature death.
While the study has already spurred plenty of controversy among the experts, when it comes to cancer one point remains clear: having excess body fat increases the risk of seven types of cancers, including colorectal, post-menopausal breast, and endometrial. The more people weigh, the higher the risk.
“This study raises interesting questions about obesity and all-cause mortality, but for cancer risk the evidence is clear,” said AICR Director of Research Susan Higginbotham, PhD, MPH, RD. “Our expert report and its updates show that body fatness increases the risk of several common kinds of cancer.”
The study was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Continue reading