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Obesity, Overweight, And Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer

Last updated on July 31st, 2022 at 09:18 am

Obesity has become a major health concern worldwide. In addition to being linked to other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, obesity also increases the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 2 million new cases of breast cancer occur each year.

Breast cancer is caused by genetic mutations or environmental factors. The latter include lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity.

How can overweight and obesity cause cancer?

Cancer has become a major health concern around the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer claims over 8 million lives each year. In 2018 alone, approximately 14.1 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide. This number is expected to rise to 22 million by 2030.

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell growth. The WHO estimates that 80% of cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or avoiding alcohol consumption. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

Overweight and obese individuals have higher risks of developing several types of cancer compared to those who are normal weight.

What types of cancer are linked to obesity?

According to the American Cancer Society, cancers of the breast, colon, endometrium (uterus), esophagus, kidney, liver, pancreas, prostate, stomach, thyroid gland, uterus, ovary, cervix, mouth, lip, tongue, tonsil, nasal cavity, brain, bone, blood, skin, eye, connective tissue, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma may be associated with being overweight or obese.

Obesity increases the risk for several cancers including breast, colon, endometrial (uterine), kidney, liver, pancreatic, prostate, thyroid, and gallbladder. It also raises the risk for some non-cancerous conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Factors related to obesity in breast cancer

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, there are many factors that contribute to this association. One factor may be that obese women tend to have larger tumors at diagnosis. Another possibility is that fat tissue produces hormones such as estrogen and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) that promote tumor development.

Obesity increases the risk of developing breast cancer. It also makes treatment less effective. However, there are some factors that may help explain why obese women get breast cancer at a younger age. 

There are some factors that may help explain this link between obesity and breast cancer. One factor is insulin resistance, or when cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin helps regulate

Obese women have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. After menopause, obesity increases the risk of recurrence. Women who are overweight before menopause may not have the same risk of recurrence as those who are obese.

Breast Cancer Early Signs

Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt)
  • Skin dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking, or thickened
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or near the collar bone (Sometimes this can be a sign of breast cancer spread even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.)

Breast Cancer

The association between breast cancers and increased body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity may be related to increased estrogen levels, according to new research.

Steps you can take

  1. Losing weight can be harder as you get older, but it can be done with careful changes to your diet and regular exercise. The first thing to do is to talk to your doctor about a healthy weight for you based on your age, height, body type, and activity level.
  2. Next, talk to your doctor about a safe and sensible plan to lose weight designed specifically for you and your needs.
  3. BMI women chart & BMI Calculator. Check your BMI using this calculator or

Source & Credits

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