Obesity has long been known to be a risk factor for breast cancer after menopause, but there haven’t been studies in the past showing a consistent connection between weight loss and a reduction in breast cancer. The average weight gain after menopause is about 10-15 pounds.
Results from a recent observational study in the journal Cancer showed that women who lost 5% or more body weight after menopause had a 12% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women with a stable weight. Women who had a weight gain of 5% or more did not have an overall increased risk of breast cancer, but they did have a higher incidence of a type of breast cancer that can be more aggressive and challenging to treat.
These findings provide strong evidence that a weight loss program can reduce a woman’s risk for breast cancer. The exciting thing about a study like this is it empowers women to realize that they have control over their risk for breast cancer, the #1 cancer in women.
Here at Elevated Health, we try to focus on prevention and helping our patients lead healthy lifestyles in an effort to reduce cancer. We also realize the key to curing breast cancer is early detection. We as physicians make individualized decisions with each patient to determine when and the best ways to perform breast cancer screening. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss ways we can help you decrease your risk for breast cancer as well as screen for it appropriately.