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Losing Weight May Reduce Your Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer


Dec. 19, 2019

Researchers have found that women who lost weight after 50 years and kept it off had a lower risk of breast cancer than women whose weight remained stable.
While a high body mass index (BMI) is an established risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer, there has not been adequate evidence to determine if that risk is reversible by losing excess weight.
To learn more, the research team used the Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer to estimate the association of sustained weight loss in middle or later adulthood on subsequent breast cancer risk.
The analysis included more than 180,000 women aged 50 and older from 10 prospective studies. It's the first with a large enough sample size to examine the important question of whether sustained weight loss can impact breast cancer risk with statistical precision.
Weight was assessed three times over approximately 10 years: at study enrolment; after about five years; then again about four years later.
The results showed women with sustained weight loss had a lower risk of breast cancer than women whose weight remained stable, and the larger the amount of sustained weight loss, the lower was the risk of breast cancer.
Women who lost 2-4.5 kg (about 4.4-10 lbs) had 13 per cent lower risk than women with stable weight. Women who lost 4.5-9 kg (10-20 lbs) had a 16 per cent lower risk. Women who lost 9 kg or more (20+ lbs) had a 26 per cent lower risk, the study said.
In addition, women who lost 9 kg or more and gained some of the weight back had a lower risk of breast cancer compared with those whose weight remained stable.
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