American researchers have associated weight loss with lower risk of developing invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This was part of the findings of a new study published in the journal, ‘Cancer.’
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. On its part, breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma).
It’s likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and environment. Obesity had been strongly related to breast cancer risk, but previous studies examining whether weight loss might reduce postmenopausal women’s risk resulted in mixed results.
Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue.
Weight loss can either occur unintentionally due to malnourishment or an underlying disease or arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state. Researchers from the City of Hope National Medical Centre in California, United States (U. S.) analysed data on 61,335 women, who had no prior breast cancer.
Those women’s body weight, height and body mass index (BMI) had been assessed at the start of the study and again three years later. During an average follow up of 11.4 years, 3,061 new cases of invasive breast cancer were reported.
It showed that women with weight loss of five per cent or more had a 12 per cent lower breast cancer risk compared with stable weight women.
Also, weight gain of five per cent or more was not associated with breast cancer risk, but was associated with a 54 per cent higher incidence of triplenegative breast cancer, a hard-to-treat type of breast cancer. Reacting to the development, Rowan Chlebowski, Corresponding author of the paper said: “Our study indicates that moderate, relatively short-term weight reduction was associated with a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women.”
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