How To Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Losing a few pounds could help make the difference. New research found that postmenopausal women who pared as little as five percent of their weight reduced their breast cancer risk by 12 percent compared to women whose weight didn’t change. Losing 15 percent or more reduced the risk by 37 percent. These findings come from a study including data on 61,335 women who ranged in age from 50 to 79 when they enrolled. Their weights were recorded at the outset and again three years later. After that, they were followed for 11.4 years during which 3,061 women developed breast cancer. In addition to reporting the reduced risk of those participants who lost weight, the researchers noted that while more than 12,000 women gained weight during the study, their risk of breast cancer didn’t increase. However, those who put on some weight and did develop the disease had a 54 percent increased risk of difficult to treat triple negative breast cancer. The reason for this isn’t known. Overall, the new findings are encouraging. As lead researcher Rowan Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., of City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California put it “you don’t need to lose a colossal amount of weight” to see a benefit.
Rowan Chlebowski et al, “Weight change in postmenopausal women and breast cancer risk in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational study.” Presentation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 8, 2017, San Antonio, TX
Also in this week’s bulletin: