Does weight influence breast cancer risk?


Question from hidden: How much influence does being overweight have with being at risk for breast cancer? And why?
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. There have been some studies that show that women who are shaped more like an apple than a pear (bigger in the middle) may have a higher risk of breast cancer. This has been attributed to two factors. First, the extra fat, as well as your normal muscle, help convert androgens into active estrogens. This is the main source of estrogen in the body of a woman who is beyond the menopause. Recent studies also show that high insulin levels may stimulate breast cell growth, acting like growth factors. For women who are overweight, and for women who may be binge eaters, your insulin levels tend to be higher than other women. If you are eating a lot of simple carbohydrates in order to lose weight, you may have a higher blood insulin level.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2000, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Food for Cancer Recovery. Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about nutrition and how it relates to cancer recovery.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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