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Flirting with Danger: Obesity’s Role in Breast Cancer

Flirting with Danger: Obesity’s Role in Breast Cancer

Obesity can have serious effects on our health and well-being, including a significant impact on breast cancer risks. The link between obesity and breast cancer is well-established. Scientist have discovered how many factors work together to make this risk higher. When there is excess fatty tissue in your body a complex metabolic and hormonal interplay develops.

It is important to understand that excess fat isn't just sitting there; it's active and releases hormones, like estrogen and inflammatory chemicals. Estrogen plays a big part in how breast cancer develops. In people who have obesity, the fat cells produce more estrogen, which can make breast cells grow more and lead to tumors. This hormone imbalance is a key piece in understanding how obesity becomes a risk factor for breast cancer.

Certain groups of people are at higher risk than others. Postmenopausal women, in particular, are at an increased risk of breast cancer when they have obesity. Also, if you gain weight later in life, it can increase your risks because fatty tissue keeps making estrogen even after menopause when the ovaries should be making less estrogen. Moreover, obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing specific types of breast cancer, such as hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, the most common type of breast cancer. This type of cancer has receptors for estrogen, so when there is too much estrogen, it amplifies the risk of getting this specific kind of breast cancer.

Many studies have examined the connection between obesity and breast cancer risk. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that postmenopausal women with obesity had a 58% higher risk of getting estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer compared to those with a healthy weight. Another study in Cancer Research suggested that even losing weight after menopause may lower your risk of getting breast cancer. These studies underscore the importance of managing your weight to reduce your risk of breast cancer. In conclusion, understanding how obesity and hormones increase your breast cancer risk, emphasizes why it's crucial to maintain a healthy weight to lower the chances of getting this prevalent and life-changing disease.

Need help managing your weight to reduce your risks of breast cancer? Our medical providers have advanced and specialty training in obesity medicine. We understand that pre-obesity/obesity is a chronic, progressive, and reoccurring disease. Sound Medical Weight Loss is committed to helping you achieve your weight goals and maintain a healthy weight.

Dr. Christine James Dr. Christine James As a regional leader in obesity medicine, Dr. Christine James helps people from the Seattle area transform their lives. She provides science-backed, individualized weight loss programs at Sound Medical Weight Loss in Kirkland, Washington. Dr. James specializes in helping patients improve their overall well-being, including their cardiovascular health and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

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