Did you know about the link between obesity and breast cancer? According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 70% of American adults are overweight and almost 42% are obese.
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. One of those types of cancer is breast cancer. Scientific studies have consistently shown that women who are obese have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer.
The good news is that obesity is a curable condition. Those that work with a doctor to achieve medically supervised weight loss can both lose weight and keep it off. If this is achieved, there is evidence that patients can reduce their risk of suffering from obesity-related conditions. This may also apply to breast cancer.
How it works
The mechanism behind the connection between obesity and cancer is that fat cells cause the body to produce more of certain types of hormones. These hormones, especially estrogen and insulin, have been linked in studies to some cancers, including breast cancer. Other hormones produced in fat tissue called adipokines encourage certain cells to grow quickly. It has been shown that the combination of these hormones can lead to a deadly mixture that can lead to cancer being more likely to occur and more aggressive that it is in people with less fat tissue.
Obesity could also affect breast cancer risk through impaired tumor immunity. The presence of fat cells changes the properties of the tissue that surrounds developing tumors making them more likely to survive assaults by the immune system.
In addition to these biological effects, obesity can lead to difficulties in screening and management as fat excess tissue can make diagnosis and analysis harder for medical professionals and their detection equipment.
“…obesity is a curable condition.”
Complicated Questions and Answers
The relationship between body fat and breast cancer risk is complicated. In results of some studies, it was shown that there may be an increased risk of breast cancer in women who gain their weight in adulthood. Those women who have been overweight since childhood appeared to have a less elevated risk. Other studies suggest that extra abdominal fat which is found around the waist area may also increase the risk of breast cancer at a larger factor than having extra fat in the hips and thighs.
While the evidence clearly points to weight gain raising your risk of cancer, scientists are still testing whether losing weight reduces your risk.
What We Do Know
It is known that if you avoid weight gain you are going to avoid an increased risk of breast cancer. This applies whether you are overweight now or not. If you are currently obese or overweight, it is already known that you can avoid painful and debilitating cardiovascular conditions such as strokes and heart attacks and improves your overall health if you lose weight and keep it off.
The key to reducing your risk of high-risk diseases is prevention and one of the best ways to prevent these ailments is reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Dr Amir’s Weight Loss and Metabolism Center
At Dr. Amir’s Weight Loss and Metabolism Center we use a number of lifestyle interventions to help patients lose weight and keep it off. However, even those who understand the basic concept of “calories in and calories out” can still struggle with the practical issues of lifestyle and diet. Therefore, we work with people of all ages using clinically proven and medically supervised lifestyle interventions, meal replacement and sometimes even medication to reduce weight and keep it off in the long term. Our goal is always healthy and sustainable weight loss. If you, or anyone you love struggles with obesity or with maintaining a healthy weight, reach out to us today for an initial consultation by clicking here.