On Tuesday, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found out that those women who are in their post-menopause and able to lose weight might lower the risk of breast cancer.
Scientists have long known that excess fat cells would increase the risks of developing breast cancer in women after menopause. Nevertheless, this is the first study with a lot of scientific evidence that indicates the benefits of weight loss.
The results would allow for widespread public health applications as more than 65 percent of American women are obese or overweight.
The research collected data from ten different studies. A total of around 180,000 people over 50 years old were recorded in 10 years. During this period, approximately 7,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.
The weights of these women were carefully measured in three stages, including the beginning, the middle, as well as the end of the research, to examine if they lost weight or maintained the loss. The authors also considered other risk factors that would affect the risks of breast cancer and obesity. These include a history of undergoing hormone replacement therapy and the levels of physical activity.
Those people who could lose 4.5 pounds and maintain this level would reduce up to 13 percent of the risk of developing breast cancer.
The effect can be greater when the maintained weight loss is larger. Losing 20 pounds would reduce the risk by up to 25 percent.
The study just shows a link between lower risk of developing breast cancer and weight loss, not proves causes and effects. However, the findings are still significant as it would provide doctors evidence to make health advice for patients.
Breast cancer is the second commonly diagnosed type of cancer in American women, after skin cancer. Also, it is the second deadliest form among women.
It is estimated that the average risk for having breast cancer in women is around 12 percent, which is equivalent to 1 out of 12 people.
The effects of postmenopausal obesity on the development of breast cancer development are still unclear. However, it seems to be related to hormones. Excess fat cells produce estrogen, which would lead to several types of breast cancer.
In addition, many scientists believe that chronic inflammation and other hormones would contribute to the association between breast cancer and obesity.
Some lifestyle factors would also contribute. These include the use of hormone therapy, alcohol intake, or lack of physical activities.