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Study: Being
overweight raises breast cancer risk

Study: Being
overweight raises breast cancer risk

Women who gain 60 pounds or more face significantly higher breast cancer risks.

A new study of more than 44,000 women shows that being overweight boosts a woman's risk of breast cancer, and the more weight gained, the higher the risk, MSNBC.com reports. Women who gain weight as adults are at a higher risk for all types, stages, and grades of breast cancer, according to the study in the journal Cancer.

The study shows that women who gained more than 60 pounds as adults were more than twice as likely to have ductal-type breast tumors than women who gained 20 pounds or less. A weight gain of 60 pounds or more increased the risk of lobular-type cancers by 1.5 times. Women who gained more than 60 pounds also were at three times greater risk of developing breast cancer that spreads to other parts of the body.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society say that the increased body weight may boost cancer risks because fat tissue produces estrogen, which raises breast cancer risks.

"These data further illustrate the relationship between adult weight gain and breast cancer, and the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight throughout adulthood," the researchers wrote in the journal.

Some studies have shown that lesbians are at a higher risk of breast cancer than heterosexual women. Researchers say one of the reasons for this increased risk may be that lesbian women tend to be heavier than their heterosexual peers. (The Advocate)

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