Obesity and breast cancer risk

The recent study I put up on breast cancer mortality increased by obesity, was properly pointed out by one of our commenters as improperly titled. The Study was about survival from Breast cancer being reduced for obese women.

However, the other side of that coin is also well known, and that is that obesity increases the risk FOR breast cancer.


6 responses to “Obesity and breast cancer risk

  1. Ok, I’m confused. Being overweight before menopause reduces breast cancer risk but after menopause it increases risk? Makes absolutely no sense at all. The biological reason given is increased exposure to estrogen (with no citations given at all) but exposure would be the same for overweight and ‘normal’ weight so what gives? What am I missing?

  2. Vernon Goodman

    bwanajohn: Fat cells also generate estrogen, in low amounts, but enough fat cells together can generate a lot of estrogen.

    • OK, that’s interesting. Because, in my family, females quite often “plump up” after menopause. Then they proceed to live into their 90’s, usually without any health problems. Thanks for mentioning this, Vernon. I will have to do some research about fat and estrogen.

      • Janice, yes. The same in my family, especially on my mother’s side of the family. They store the weight and later, as they head towards very old age they begin to lose the weight.

  3. In their efforts to blame obesity for everything, I remain skeptical that it has anything to do with breast cancer risk… and I will remain that way until I am diagnosed with breast cancer.

    What is missing? There are many reasons why some women are diagnosed with breast cancer and others never get that diagnosis. Some of the real causes of breast cancer are:
    1. hormones – it is that thing called estrogen.
    2. terminated pregnancies. This one is deliberately ignored because it would mean fewer successful terminations. Again, there is a little thing called hormones circulating in a woman’s body after a pregnancy has terminated (legal or illegal, makes no difference).
    3. Use of HRT – again the evidence was ignored.
    4. The presence of a particular gene that leads to having a more aggressive form of breast cancer.

    I have had many friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. At least 3 friends who have been close to me were not over-weight. My mother-in-law was overweight but she also had several miscarriages as well as 7 successful pregnancies.

    Then there is my own family background where obesity is common for women in one side of the family. None of them had breast cancer.

    On the other hand, my paternal grandmother died at what I consider to be a young age for a woman, around age 62 and artherosclerosis was listed on her death certificate. She was not obese, but was a tall thin woman. My maternal grandmother was obese for many years, lost weight later in life and failed by a month to reach her 99th birthday.

    I detest the fact that obesity gets the blame when in fact obesity is a chicken and egg situation. What came first? The RA or the obesity? The Fibromyalgia or the obesity? Perhaps it was all those accidents and ankle sprains, that led to falling away from the enjoyment of dancing and other activities… but whatever…. obesity is not the cause!!

    These scientists need to get off the blame game and start looking for the real clues to these diseases, and only then will they discover the real answers.

  4. Prior to menopause oestrogen has progesterone to oppose and this counter balance it’s effects ‘ in fact both together generate a healthy state of health . Later in life , after the menopause , oestrogen dominance , caused by obesity , cause suppression of thyroid hormones promoting even more weight gain and stimulates tissue growth like ovaries ( ovarian cancer ) and breast ( cancer ) .
    Dr. Soraya Felix

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