One of the most frustrating facts about breast cancer is that no one knows for certain what causes it. BUT one of the promising things we know about breast cancer is how to reduce risk. There are some aspects, such as genetics and age, which play a role we cannot control. On the other hand, as strong, capable, competent women - doing all we can to lower our risk of breast cancer makes sense.
New research, released recently at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting further explored the role of obesity and breast cancer. Obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer for younger and older women - a risk factor we CAN modify! This study showed that for premenopausal women being obese also has implications for survival.
The study showed a 34% increased risk of dying from breast cancer (hormone receptor positive type – the most common) in premenopausal women who were obese as compared with nonobese women. In other words, you are more likely to die of your breast cancer if you are obese and premenopausal. This was not shown to be true for postmenopausal women - obesity did not correlate with a higher death rate. This comprehensive study looked at over 80,000 women.
So, getting your weight in a healthy range with exercise and a healthy diet can mean improved survival for our young breast cancer survivors. We’ve noted in the past that getting your heart rate up is good for you (ok, maybe more than once). But the wonderful side effect of exercise and eating the right foods? Helping with weight control. Talk with your doctor if you struggle with your weight - you can get there! And this latest study gives us more reasons to strive to keep our BMI in the healthy range.
Image credit: Cross Trainer by George Stepanek via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Originally published 5/29/14 on mammographykc.com.