Weight Loss After 50 Lowers Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Weight Loss After 50 Years OldNew research has revealed that even a moderate amount of weight loss after 50 can make a meaningful difference in reducing breast cancer risk.  This is true even if only a few pounds are lost, provided that the woman manages to keep the weight from coming back again.

It didn’t come as much of a surprise that weight loss after 50 would affect breast cancer risk at all.  That said, what was interesting about this study’s results is that it doesn’t take much to make a difference.  Moreover, this was the first time that a large and reputable study firmly showed that losing weight can help to reduce the risk, it’s not just a matter of an increasing risk with gained pounds.

The Difference Weight Loss After 50 Makes

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.  It revealed that even if a handful of pounds are lost and kept off, breast cancer risk would shrink.  This research was conducted because it is widely accepted that obesity and even being overweight will place women at an increased risk of breast cancer.  However, it hasn’t been conclusively known whether or not losing that weight again would impact that heightened risk.

Now, the answer to that question has been presented. The study’s authors, including lead author Lauren Teras, the American Cancer Society’s Scientific Director for Epidemiology Research, explained that they found that women who lose some excess weight and kept it off had a lower breast cancer risk than those who did not lose any of their excess body weight.

What Does This Mean for Your Health?

The research was specific to post-menopausal women and examined data from over 180,000 patients in that age group.  This is because that group of women is at a higher breast cancer risk than their pre-menopausal counterparts.  Moreover, this group also finds it more challenging to lose excess weight when they are overweight or obese.

Today, it’s estimated that among all women in the United States, 2 out of every 3 is either overweight or obese.  This represents an important increase in breast cancer risk, but this research suggests that it can be reduced.  It suggests that women at any age, including those post-menopause, can aim for a healthier body weight in order to decrease their chances of developing breast cancer. Weight loss over 50 can make a difference to overall health and longevity in this way.

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