Study finds breast cancer risk linked to location of excess body fat


Its widely known that carrying around extra fat can increase your risk for a variety of health issues, but a new study on certain types of breast cancer shows where you carry that weight may be even more important. 

Excess body fat levels in post-menopausal women have been linked to a higher risk in breast cancer, according to the study.

Published in the Medical Journal Jama Oncology, researchers saw that those women who carried more weight were at double the risk of developing estrogen-dependent breast cancer. 

These cancers, called ER-positive breast cancer in the study, occur when the receptor proteins attach to the estrogen hormone and rely on it to grow.

Nearly 3500 post-menopausal women between 50 and 79 years old had their body composition measured at the beginning of the study. 

Of those women, 146 developed ER-positive breast cancer.

Researchers found that those with an 11-pound increase in overall body fat, had a 35-percent increased risk of getting that cancer.

And if they carried that 11-pounds mainly in their midsection, their risk went up to 56-percent.

Increased fat in their torso also increased their risk of developing invasive breast cancer by 46-percent.

This was even the case with those that fell under a normal body mass index.   

The study authors say this signals a shift from simply looking at one’s BMI, to instead focusing on where the person’s excess fat is concentrated.

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