Link Between Breast Cancer and Obesity

There is an increasing concern among doctors and scientists about the link which is being continually reaffirmed between obesity and the occurrence of breast cancer. There has been significant statistical data gathered to show that women who hold their excessive body fat in their abdomens and upper bodies are much more likely to have breast cancer at some point in their lives. Though conclusive evidence has not yet been gathered as this would require an exceptionally long-term study, there is more than enough evidence to show that there is a trend linking obesity to the instance of breast cancer.

Preliminary research indicates that being overweight and obese raises the incidence of breast cancer in women.

Preliminary research indicates that being overweight or obese raises the incidence of breast cancer in women.

It is believed that an explanation for this occurrence has to do with the additional xenoestrogen levels that exist within the additional fat cells in bodies of women who are overweight and obese. Xenostrogens can be very hazardous as they are well known contributors to the development of cancerous tumors, specifically around the area of breast tissues. The greater the amount of xenestrogens throughout the fatty tissues, the larger your odds are to experience the growth of a cancerous tumor. Therefore, it is mainly believed that breast cancer is a result of hormonal activities throughout the body.

For example, immediately before or after menopause, it is common for weight gain to occur. In those individuals who experience this increase in body mass, the risk of breast cancer also increases. It is at this time in a woman’s life that her ovaries no longer produce estrogen, which is generated within a woman’s body fats. When the transition into menopause begins and the woman already has too much fat on her body, there will be a buildup of additional estrogen throughout the time after menopause has occurred. This additional fat-based estrogen, it is believed, can cause a heightened breast cancer risk.

This being said, there are some rare cases where obesity actually has the ability to reduce a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. This is only in the case where the obesity has altered the woman’s menstrual cycle so dramatically that ovulation is limited. Since ovulation doesn’t occur as frequently or regularly, the release of estrogen and progesterone as well as estradiol are lower, also lowering the risk of breast cancer. This is, though, only in very limited cases.

The trouble with the breast cancer that develops as a result of obesity is that it is typically the most debilitating and dangerous form, called inflammatory breast cancer, where the cancer cells plug the lymph vessels, causing the breast tissues to swell. When compared to leaner women, obese women experience inflammatory breast cancer much more frequently.

Due to the possible link between breast cancer and obesity, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle for women, especially for those in or past menopause. By keeping excess fat from your chest and abdomen areas, you will not only lower your chances of certain types of cancer, but you will avoid other health conditions, such as back pain, associated with this type of weight gain.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Menopause Diet – Best Foods for Menopause”, “Healthy Weight Loss Diet May Prevent Cancer”, “Alcohol Affects Risks of Cancer and Heart Disease in Women” and “Anti-Cancer Diet”.


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