Breast Cancer - A new study claims that postmenopausal women (especially those
who do not use hormone therapy) should strive to keep their
weigh within certain limits to reduce the risk of developing
Medical researchers writing in the Journal of
the American Medical Association say studies indicate that
one of six postmenopausal breast cancers may be preventable
if women keep their weight variance within four to five
pounds after the age of 18.
Dr. Zhiping Huang of Harvard University's School of
Public Health said a study of 92,256 participants showed
that up to a third of new postmenopausal breast cancer cases
were caused by hormone replacement therapy, adult weight
gain or a combination of those factors.
Obesity appears to
reduce the incidence of breast cancer prior to menopause,
the researchers say, but after menopause extra weight
increases the risk of both breast cancer development and
The study found a much stronger association between
weight gain and development of breast cancer in
postmenopausal women who never used hormones.
Women in this
group who gained 22 to 44 pounds were at 61 percent higher
risk of developing breast cancer, while those gaining more
than 44 pounds were at almost double the risk of breast
cancer than women with minimal weight change.
found that premenopausal and postmenopausal women who were
obese or who gained weight in adulthood were more likely to
die from breast cancer. This was especially true for
postmenopausal women who had never used hormones.